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When soldier John Tyree meets an idealistic college student, Savannah Curtis, it's the beginning of a strong romance. They decide to stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas while he is deployed to the war, correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.
Dear John is built on mawkishness and it brings everything it touches down to that level. It rubs the metaphor of coins and coin collecting so deeply into the audience face you're sure to have a welt by the time the movie's over.
What starts as a charming anachronism %u2014 pens, paper and the postal service in an impersonal digital age %u2014 becomes tedious as Hallstrom is reduced to interminable, repetitive montages covering the many months that the pair are apart.