The master of the “posh matinée”, director Lasse Hallstrom, here adapts the novel by Nicholas Sparks (whose weepy bestsellers, including Message in a Bottle and The Notebook, seem to have become guaranteed winners for the makers of prime movie romances). Channing Tatum plays US Special Forces Staff Sergeant John Tyree, who falls in love with student Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) while on leave, and then re-enlists with the army after 9/11. They exchange letters and keep the relationship going until one day she sends him a Dear John letter. It’s torrid stuff, of course, with the inevitable love triangle, the obsessive symbolic recurrence of an old coin collection, and a generous dose of cinematic illness to keep things, well, interesting.
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