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tissues at the ready for this war weepy DEAR JOHN Romance; Starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried

>BY MARK EVANS

While the lads have enjoyed modern era war movies such as The Hurt Locker and Green Zone, the "war on terror" has largely been a female-free zone movie wise.

So step up Dear John, a tearjerker that's aimed squarely at women audiences, but is engaging enough to get their other halves watching too.

John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young sergeant on leave from the Army Special Forces, meets college student Savannah Lynn Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), and they promptly fall madly in love.

It's so serious that John even meets Savannah's family as well as her neighbour, Tim Wheddon (Henry Thomas) and Tim's autistic son, Alan (Braeden Reed).

But in a silly row, John and Savannah fall out -- and he, in a fit of anger, has a bust-up with Savannah's rich neighbour Randy (Scott Porter).

But they patch things up and, after he re-enlists following the World Trade Center attacks, begin a long-distance relationship through a series of letters. There's action galore as, over the next two years, John embarks on dangerous missions and lives only for Savannah's letters. But absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder and John and Savannah drift apart -- with Savannah eventually sending him a Dear John letter, telling him she has become engaged.

John reckons it's Randy (by name and nature) and shuts down, devoting himself to the war and getting shot down in the process.

It's tearjerking stuff and, while the chemistry between Tatum and Seyfield isn't as good as it should be, it'll keep you guessing as to whether there's going to be a happy ending or not.

PS, I Love You meets The Hurt Locker, Dear John isn't blockbuster material but it has all the requisite twists and turns of the genre to keep the hankies at hand.

DVD EXTRAS: Very good. Plenty of deleted/alternate scenes and a better alternate ending. Making-of specials and interviews with the actors.