A woman finds a romantic letter in a bottle washed ashore and tracks down the author, a widowed shipbuilder whose wife died tragically early. As a deep and mutual attraction blossoms, the man struggles to make peace with his past so that he can move on and find happiness. Written by
The producers originally planned to film on Tangier Island, Virginia, USA, but some members of the town council objected to the drinking, cursing and sex in the movie and demanded script revisions in exchange for shooting permission. Warner Brothers then tried Martha's Vineyard near Chilmark, Massachusetts, USA, but the Chilmark Conservation Commission turned down a request to build a temporary 3,000-square-foot house on stilts in the dunes near Chilmark Pond. See more »
When Garret is typing the last letter to Catherine to tell her about Theresa, the first word he types is "It". When the letter is read in voiceover, it starts out with the word "My". See more »
How private is a message set afloat in a bottle? Not at all, according to this film. Finders keepers, and if it makes a good story, publish it on the front page of the daily press. Garret (Kevin Costner) loves Catherine beyond the grave, and being a boat-builder, with the sea at his doorstep, he sends messages to her in a sealed bottle. Theresa (Robin Wright Penn) relaxing by the sea finds a bottle protruding from the wet sand and is much impressed by the expressions of love in the romantic message. As a newspaper researcher she seeks out the author and predictably they fall in love. I think this film would largely appeal to women. The dialogue and the romantic situations are believable as the story slowly but steadily unfolds. The photography of the seascapes and sunsets is very appealing and the background music suitably romantic and never obtrusive. The acting throughout is very controlled. The shy Garret devoted to the memory of Catherine slowly changes as this new woman enters his life. Theresa still suffering from a broken marriage and still uncertain of her future is beautifully played as the message continues to weave its spell. Garret's crotchety old father is played with all stops out by Paul Newman - a rascally fellow with firm ideas about what is good for his son. There are a few noisy scenes in the film, and necessary, I think, because the overall tenor of the film is somewhat subdued with the two shy central characters. Not a great film by any means , but the story has a certain charm. I am sure we would all like to find a message in a bottle - much more exciting than receiving an E-mail - and I guaratee that, human nature being what it is, we'd read it too.
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