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This week's literary movie is "Dear John," a tear-jerker adapted from the book of the same name by the King of Tear-Jerkers, Nicholas Sparks (who's a high school track coach in his spare time). It's a love story interrupted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Practical Army guy (played by Channing Tatum)meets idealistic girl (Amanda Seyfried), he abandons her to fight Osama, and a "Dear John" letter follows. (Here's the trailer and official site.) Sparks' novels have sparked other romantic movies, including "The Notebook," "Night in Rodanthe" and "A Walk to Remember" -- "Dear John" appears to be another weeper. Here are excerpts from reviews for the new movie:

San Fracisco Chronicle -- Sure, it sounds corny. But director Lasse Hallstrom ("Chocolat") and screenwriter Jamie Linden give the whirlwind romance an appealing, straightforward decency, and Tatum and Seyfried click rather effortlessly. They're not Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams from "The Notebook," but they'll do.

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New York Times -- [T]he latest attempt to bring his warm, earnest, therapeutic sensibility to the screen, falls in the upper middle range of Sparks film adaptations. the latest attempt to bring his warm, earnest, therapeutic sensibility to the screen, falls in the upper middle range of Sparks film adaptations.

Miami Herald -- "Dear John" is at its date-movie best in the first half; it's the sort of pretty weeper that will draw young women in droves. Later on the film gets a bit bogged down in its noble ambitions.

Los Angeles Times -- What we don't really have is an actual film but a very long music video with lots of montages of John and Savannah "moments" as they read their letters in absentia, which means neither the fans nor the foes of "The Notebook" are likely to be satisfied.

Variety -- Ultimately, the story feels as if it's killing time before throwing the next hurdle at the couple, seizing on a favorite Sparks theme that in matters of love, life isn't fair.

Reuters -- The mad passion at the center of the movie raises the temperature not one degree, and all the sentimentality that surrounds the movie -- an autistic child, a shy, emotionally stunted father, a wounded vet and later a character with a stroke and another with cancer -- feels like so many tugs on the heartstrings.

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