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Message in a Bottle
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Message in a Bottle More at IMDbPro »

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A spectacular and sweet romance

Author: Michael Hollywood
25 April 2000

Watching "Message In A Bottle" was incredible because it was the type of movie that allowed me to clear my mind of everything else and allowed to relax in my chair.

This movie completely swept me away to another place that gave me the chance to watch a brilliant film with no worries and enjoy an epic romance.

Kevin Costner, Paul Newman and Robin Wright Penn share the screen to tell the incredible story of one reporter's mission to locate the writer of three mysterious messages that turned up ashore. What follows is 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 by me 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.

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Highly unlikely but entertaining love story

Author: Brian J. Smith from Gloucester, Ontario, Canada
30 March 2000

Message in a Bottle is one of those Hollywood love stories that are unlikely to ever happen in real life but are nonetheless entertaining to watch.

Robin Wright Penn plays a newspaper researcher who stumbles upon a bottle on a beach containing a message. She is moved by the message and sets about to find out who wrote it. As luck would have it, it turns out to have been written by Kevin Costner who is grieving the recent loss of his wife. Well, you know what happens next.

Costner, after those two mega turkeys "Waterworld" and "The Postman", turns in a good performance as Garret, and Wright Penn is adequate as Theresa, however, it is veteran Paul Newman who walks away with the picture as Costner's father. He still has that screen presence and charisma that have kept him a star for over 35 years. Robbie Coltrane also contributes a nice but brief appearance as Theresa's boss.

The ending is a bit unexpected, but all in all, Message in a Bottle provides for an enjoyable evening's entertainment.

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a lot of tears

Author: ángel from heaven
21 March 2000

Since Mandoki is a very good actor´s director, Message in a Bottle looks interesting. It is too its splendid photography. But I think that there is a exaggerate "dramatic climax" during all the film. I was not able to count how many tears Robin Warren had to share with the seascape. Message in a bottle has the risk to look "too much beautiful", common and dangerous sickness of that kind of film (and that you can find in The horse whisperer, for example). Message in a bottle believes at the bottom in the little community that is a very old dream in popular culture- it heart and threat (in this case the beautiful (again!) life besides sea). This film deserve 6/10.

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Doesn't compare to the book

Author: jessica martorana (
28 February 2000

After learning a favorite book of mine will be made into a movie, I always hope the film version will follow closely to the written word. This was not so, though, with Message In A Bottle and I was sorely disappointed. I enjoyed watching both Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn as they had good chemistry, but I felt not enough time was based on the development of their relationship. Also, in the book, there is more bonding going on between Theresa, Costner's character and Theresa's son as they all have a visit in NC which is not explored in the movie. Also, the addition of new characters to "stretch" the plot was totally unneeded as they were not present in the book. Had they enhanced the Father's character more and had Costner's character read more of his dead wife's letters, we would see the true heartache these two men are going through - the grief of a husband who lost a wife and the grief of a father who's wishing his son would get on with life. If you've never read the book, please do and it will give you more insight into understanding the movie.

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Good movie

Author: Mask-of-Santo from Trivandrum, India
27 February 2000

This is a good movie. It is a tragic love story. But worth watching all the same. Although the plot is weak, the inner threads are strong and the end is not what we expect. This is what makes the movie worth watching after all. Kevin Costner is often seen in what seems to be his favourite environment - water.

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A splendid movie

Author: Soledad-2 from Miami, Florida
26 January 2000

After reading good and bad reviews about Message in a Bottle, I have decided to express my sincere opinion about this movie. It's beautiful, very well made, and both Kevin Costner and Robin Wright are perfect in their roles. There is a fantastic chemistry between them and everything seems completely real. The photography of the film is marvelous and you feel inside the movie from the beginning till the end. My evaluation: 9/10.

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Love and its dynamics shown in a breathtaking scenery

Author: tammolotz ( from Marburg, Germany
20 January 2000

The reviews about this movie I had come across before had been reserved, however it had not been distracting for me. From the very first moments I was overwhelmed and sure about having taken the right decision. The scenery is simply wonderful and I took great pleasure in following the camera during the very first shots.

The plot adopts its suspense from the two protagonists both facing a similar fate. While Theresa (Robin Wright Penn- tender and determined) has not yet fully got over her divorce, Garret (Kevin Kostner- self-conscious and taciturn) is still admiring his beloved wife. By writing the messages, he intends to strengthen the everlasting bond to his great love, yet he does not realize that he more and more goes into isolation. Theresa, deeply impressed by his emotional selflessness, gently manages to break Garrets shell. Nevertheless it requires time to get to know him properly...

What I appreciate is Mandoki´s gentle and careful treatment of the development of the two protagonists. To underline the atmosphere and both the protagonist´s feelings, he applies a great deal of symbolism, e.g. the weather, the music or the actors´ movements. The stories-within-the-story contribute to the colourfulness of this movie and allow the audience to appreciate the dynamics of the main plot.

The whole movie is very touching and will certainly have its place in the viewers´ memories. The ending is maybe a bit disappointing; in my opinion however, it even raises the significance of this elaborate and artistic movie.

My assessment: 9

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Read the book

Author: catalina-4 from New Hamphire, USA
18 January 2000

I loved this book, and then I decided to see the movie. Normally, I like when movies are different from the books. However, in the film, the changes they made were tragic. Removing key characters, creating extraneous and shallow new ones, changing the very nature of the lead female role, leaving out major events...bad moves. Instead of a moving story about two vulnerable people struggling to fall in love, you get two typically gorgeous people doing sentimental and romantic things together.

Not a bad movie, but not a good movie to see after reading the book. Your money will be better spent in the bookstore on the book

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Author: barb from USA
29 December 1999

This movie was extremely touching. The book on the other hand is one thousand times better, and my #1 favorite novel I have ever read. I totally recommend reading it, you will not be disappointed unlike most of you were with the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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For Once I Read the IMDb First

Author: Rick Blaine from London
9 December 1999

Well I was braced for this one, because for once I read the IMDb first. I've heard so many times for so long how bad this movie is, so I figured I should know why. And I can't say I don't concur with the consensus of opinion here. Yes, the photography is brilliant - especially in the beginning. Yes, the plot is intriguing, up to a point, at least the first ten minutes. Yes, the movie is seeable for the first hour. Yes, the style is stilted and reminiscent of When A Man Loves A Woman. But no, I can't see a happy ending coming of this movie no matter what, no matter what effort is made to erase bad screenplay. It's inevitable that the twain do not meet, and what really seems contrived is not so much the accident as the sentiments in the last message in a bottle. They, if anything, seem wrong. Costner's character is extremely introverted, and Costner plays it well - or as well as a noodle can, to describe him as John Huston did. Whatever. For the point is made. Up to the point where Costner returns home and finally starts to get things out of his system we are fine. Somewhere along here a happy ending would have been possible, if we wanted one, if it was justified artistically. Penn's speech in the end narrative sounds like so much female college sophomore poetry - trite, pretentious, and preferably never heard. It makes one wince. I don't agree with the authors either, that this is a valid and even worthy topic. To each his own, but I just don't see life like this at all. And my goodness, but why oh why film Carolina beaches and harbors in New England? Another review suggested openly to Kevin that he think about a new day job. MIAB is not uncourageous, but on another level it is still about as lame as lame movies come. Kevin need not get another day job: he has enough stashed away by now to get by without a day job at all. But he should definitely stop making movies if he can't come up with anything more significant. Kudos to Penn for a fine job. She's been passed over as one of the big dramatic stars, and the shame of it all is that this movie will not bring her any closer to stardom.

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