Hollywood Product: Dear John (1)

GENRE: Star-crossed lovers

THE PITCH: Can John (Channing Tatum), a clean-cut Army special forces guy, and Savannah (Amanda Seyfried), an altruistic college student, sustain their romance through love letters, even after the dislocations of Sept. 11? The title Dear John does not bode well.

BEST CLICHÉS: John and Savannah exchange their first "real" kiss in a rainstorm. Separated by continents, the couple remembers each other when they cover the full moon with their thumbs. Later, rain equals sadness when John and his surfboard brood on a beach. The South Carolina Spanish moss looks all glowy in golden sunlight. John and his father ("Six Feet Under's" Richard Jenkins) bond over a rare Jefferson mule coin.

Dear John

2 out of 5 stars. Directed by Lasse Hallström. Stars Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried. Rated PG-13. Opens Fri., Feb. 5. At area theaters.

BEST LINE: "There's a neverending stream of curse words in my mind," Savannah none-too-convincingly tells John, to counter her goody two-shoes, don't-drink-don't-smoke image. (In fact, apart from a couple of "frickins," nobody ever swears.)

WORST LINE: "You just made your own fire. That's very impressive. Very primal," Savannah tells John, and doesn't sound like she's being sarcastic.

FLESH FACTOR: The numerous beach scenes give audiences plenty of time to ogle Seyfried's legs and/or Tatum's shoulders. They have a steamy coital clench that nevertheless shows nothing that would warrant the PG-13 rating.

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(Photo by Scott Garfield)