In Nicholas Sparks' plasticky new tearjerker, Dear John, Army boy John meets angelic college gal Savannah on a North Carolina beach and begins a crash course in true love. But while John cherishes Savannah's old-fashioned virtues (she's a chaste, churchgoing teetotaler) and she likens their meeting to ''pure white light, breathtaking to behold,'' John's prolonged post-9/11 absences gradually erode the relationship. He's stationed in Iraq when he receives the titular kiss-off letter. We're meant to share John's sorrow at Savannah's defection, but Sparks' gooey vision of her character part Doris Day, part Mother Teresa may provoke other reactions to the breakup. Like relief.