What makes a movie land with a feather’s touch is a quality that is hard to pin down, but what makes lesser movies land with a thud is always glaringly apparent. Dear John---where star-crossed lovers John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a soldier in the US Army circa September 11 and its aftermath, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), a college student, exchange love letters over a period of years---isn’t a terrible experience. At times it’s quite poignant, but the movie just doesn’t have that rare alchemy of 2009’s Bright Star to make letter-writing or young love thrilling and fresh. The plot and character details are flat and laboured. Dear John’s heart is in the right place, but the effort that went into it is painfully obvious on the big screen.