: : : Message in a Bottle

Story

If, as they say, you're in a certain mood, Message in a Bottle can be just the ticket. Based on Nicholas Sparks's bestselling novel, this handsome but overly calculated romance tale stars Robin Wright Penn as Theresa, a Chicago Tribune researcher who finds a note encased in a green bottle that has floated onto a Cape Cod shore. The message within is a heartfelt, yearning declaration of love to a woman named Catherine, but the author is unknown until Theresa (rather improbably) tracks him down in North Carolina. He's Garret Blake (Kevin Costner), a taciturn builder of sailboats and a grieving widower whose late wife, poetically speaking, was the intended recipient of the seafaring note Theresa found. Theresa, a divorcée with a son, decides to meet Garret, only to find him as bottled-up as his message. Nevertheless, a romance blooms on the strength of quality time in a sailboat and lots of cuddling, though the script tosses in bits of conflict to keep their relationship spicy. Directed by Luis Mandoki (When a Man Loves a Woman), this love story is entirely by the numbers, with Costner inhabiting (rather than performing) a stock fantasy of a man perfect in every way save his broken heart. Penn brings more vibrancy to her equally predictable part, but fortunately for all, Paul Newman, John Savage, Robbie Coltrane, and Illeana Douglas are on hand in nicely textured character parts. Sometimes predictability is exactly what one wants when settling in for an evening of home video, and this movie fits the bill nicely. The appealing cinematography is by ace cameraman Caleb Deschanel. --Tom Keogh

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Dolby
  • Widescreen

Cast

Kevin CostnerGarret Blake
Robin WrightTheresa Osborne
Paul NewmanDodge Blake
John SavageJohnny Land
Illeana DouglasLina Paul
Robbie ColtraneCharlie Toschi
Jesse JamesJason Osborne
Bethel LeslieMarta Land
Tom AldredgeHank Land
Viveka DavisAlva
Raphael SbargeAndy
Hayden PanettiereGirl on Sinking Boat

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Luis Mandoki
  • Producer: Warner Brothers
  • Length: 131 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaFeb 12, 1999
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe12
    AustraliaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaFeb 3, 2004
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