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While on vacation, a single mother identified as Theresa discovers a
'message in a bottle' on the shore that has moving honest words of love
addressed to a woman named Catherine
The trail leads her to a sailboat builder named Garrett and also to his father, Dodge in a small North Carolina coastal town It turns out that Catherine is Garret's deceased wife, and the intriguing letters were written, two years earlier, after her decease
Some people find the one true love of their lives, if they're fortunate enough Luis Mandoki's film, in part, turns out to be a choice about what occurs when a person finds that right kind of love, then when he is faced with the impossible, and then when he is given the right to continue with his life and is brave enough to love again no matter how unpleasant his grief is
As a reclusive widower, Garret was still in deep pain, and entirely devoted to Catherine's memory He had hard time letting go of the past Catherine was dead but not forgotten and was simply everywhere
As a sailor Costner didn't inherit the charm of Newman He was drawn to Penn by her smile, her beauty, even her mistakes
Robin Wright Penn was beautiful, delicate and sweet as Theresa She soon insinuates her way into Garret's life Her expectations were always too high Since the beginning, she just had to meet the person that wrote those letters Her life was changed by them Eventually when she met Garret that morning, she accepted, without hesitation, to step aboard
Paul Newman as Dodge liked Theresa instantly He saw in her the key to his son's emotional recovery
With a very nice music, and a stunning coastal photographyalso the ocean scenes are wonderfully taken"Message in a Bottle" is definitely a weepy melodrama and a must see for those who believe, or don't, in love
I really enjoyed the peacefulness of the surroundings. The beautiful foggy mornings near the ocean is an all natural calmer. Just overall a wonderful movie. Very moving. Each of us Have loved or will have loved so deeply as to make our very souls leap into unfathomable joy. This movie grabs hold of the heart of the viewer and keeps you intrigued from the beginning to the end. It engages the inner self to want to reach out, take hold of life and love with the clarity to which we all want to be loved. It reminds us when you love, let it be always unconditional. Let it be forever. A well written movie. One, every person should take time to see.
The pace is set from the opening scene: the ocean with its consistent but
gentle force splashing against the shore. `Message in a Bottle' follows
this leisurely pace; it is not in a real hurry to give up all its secrets,
but like the ocean, will surrender all in good time. So relax, and allow
yourself to enjoy!
Paul Newman (Dodge Blake) and Kevin Costner (Garrett Blake) both deliver strong performances as father and son, initially content, though not really happy in their current existence. Both have lost their love, for one reason or another, and are each other's companion and support. Newman gets the fun punch lines, Costner gets the woman. `If I were about 150 years younger' starts one of Newman's lines it must be different for him not to play the leading role. Costner seems right at home playing a ship-building sailor who is lost because of his lost love.
Robin Wright (Theresa Osborne) is equally strong, playing an independent and patient reporter, who follows her heart, and decides to find the author of the love letters from the ocean. She gives Garrett distance gently when he needs it, yet pushes back equally hard when she needs to.
Much of the acting relied not so much on the delivery of lines, as on the body language, on looks, on the strained silence between a couple who is unsure of each other, often unsure of themselves, yet strongly attracted to each other.
Both Garrett and Theresa seem to struggle at conversation, both uncertain of how to discover each other, yet each finding an attraction they can't seem to deny. Garrett is hanging on to the love he still feels for his wife, who died too early. Theresa is still recovering from a divorce, and the busy life of a single parent. Neither is sure they can be open to a new relationship, nor are they ready to say goodbye to something that is starting to feel so right.
The photography of the sailboats on the ocean were enough to bring out the romantic in me. What could be a more peaceful setting than a sailboat anchored privately in a small cove of the ocean in the Outer Banks?. We're given just enough peek into the unfolding world of a couple discovering love, without it feeling like an intrusion.
To talk more of the ups and downs would give away too many of the secrets that only the theatre, the bookstore, or the ocean will release.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I generally like Kevin Costner movies, but had only moderate
expectations for this one. But after seeing it, I think it is one of
the best "love stories" I have seen. The pace of the movie, and the
dialog, are not rushed, some may even say leisurely. But that is a
welcome change from many of today's fast action, cut-to-the-chase
movies which neglect character development.
This movie developed characters. I found myself really caring for all of them. The dialog between Costner's and Newman's characters, son and father, is very natural and believable. The meeting and getting to know one another by Penn's and Costner's characters is also very natural and believable.
This movie could have taken the easy way out, with a neatly tied together ending, everyone living happily ever after. And I suspect that is exactly what happened. But it does so in a way that gives a much stronger message about love, relationships, and living each day for what it is worth.
Finally, the scenery and photography are wonderful. Definitely one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen. I gave it 8 of 10.
Update 2008: I saw it again after over 8 years, and my opinion has remained the same. A somewhat underrated movie.
This movie has all the ingredients you need on a Sunday afternoon--it is happy and sad, funny and melancholic, optimistic but realistic, expected but unexpected, just what life is all about. Photography is just breathtaking, and oh, Chicago looks fantastic. There are some witty lines. Paul Newman is doing a great little role--Oscar? MUST SEE!
This is the movie that proves that most critics don't know what they're
doing. The critics shed their sentimentalism sometime in the mid-1960's, so
how could they know or care?
One must have a heart to enjoy "Message in a Bottle". It's a treasure--beautiful, poignant, tragic. The cast is wonderful, and if you don't cry at the ending, you aren't human (which most critics apparently aren't).
I can't help but love this movie. When watching this movie, I felt as if I was right inside with the people and it was real life. All the emotions that Kevin's character goes through shows this sensitive side of him that is not always shown in his movies. I cried for his loss and cheered him on in finding another person to understand and love him for who he is. The depth of this film made me want to be in love and to share that experience with someone.
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.
Spread the message and let everyone know that "Message In A Bottle" was
an incredible sight to behold because it was the type of movie that
cleared my mind of everything else and allowed to relax in my chair.
"Message In A Bottle" along with the writers as well as Kevin Costner, Paul Newman, and Robin Wright Penn swept me away to another place that gave me the chance to watch a brilliant film with no worries and enjoy an epic romance.
Costner, Newman and Wright Penn share the screen to tell the incredible, emotional and powerful story of one reporter's mission to locate the writer of three mysterious messages that turned up ashore.
The following events set off a tender and sweet romance between Garret Blake played by Costner and Theresa Osborne played by Penn. Also, mixed into this wonderfully crafted plot is Newman who plays Dodge, Garret's father who acts as a calming effect for his son when trying to deal with his newfound feelings about Theresa and those for Catherine, the object of the mysterious messages.
The performances by Costner, Penn and Newman seemed so natural it was enjoyable to watch actors not try so hard to do their best. I got the feeling that the actors truly cared about making this film the best they could for their fans because of the integrity and sincerity they brought to their characters.
"Message In A Bottle" was a powerful and inspirational movie to watch and will be treasured for years to come. In addition, it had two of my favorite actors and it gave me the opportunity to watch a brilliant actress come in to her own.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before I could scream, "My eyes! My eyes!" I realized I was basically
watching my love story unfold before me. You see, I married a widower.
I just hate it when people call my husband a widower. What does that
make me? Dead? I think not.
I was pleased that THIS movie somewhat shows what it like for the unfortunate woman (or perhaps man) who thinks they are just falling in love. My favorite quote in the whole movie was, "It's getting pretty crowded in there." Because that's exactly how it feels.
The scene where they were christening the boat and she witnesses the man she loves admit that he misses "Catherine" everyday. Funny, my husband's late wife's name was, grrr, Kathryn.
So, even though it was painful to watch... I did come away with a new appreciation of the fact that my husband didn't do the typical "push/pull" thing that was shown in the movie. My husband realized that I was someone he didn't want to lose, and he realized he wanted to live for tomorrow instead of yesterday.
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