Review | Dear John

Credit: Screen Gems

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Us Rating: **1/2

In South Carolina in 2001, a coed (Amanda Seyfried) and a soldier (Channing Tatum) fall in love, then try a long-distance relationship. Lasse Hallstrom's sensitive, assured direction brings out the best in the leads (and Richard Jenkins excels as Tatum's dad, a high- functioning autistic). But the movie is hurt by its mushy, sentimental core -- and a plot twist about 9/11 doesn't fit in at all. (Sony, $29)

--Thelma Adams