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

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A moody love story begging for redemption.

Author: Mikeylito from Long Beach, CA
31 October 1999

This is the story of a journey of the heart for Theresa Osborne, a researcher-writer for the Chicago Tribune and a divorced mom with a young son, Jason. When Jason's dad takes him for a summer visit, Theresa's journey begins at a deserted beach on Cape Cod when she finds a message in a bottle.

The message Theresa reads quite obviously tugs at her soul as she proceeds to share it with her hostess at the bed and breakfast where she's staying, with her co-workers back at the Tribune where she returns one day early, and with her boss, who does her the favor of sharing the message with Chicago.

Theresa sets out on a mission, with the paper's encouragement, to find out who the message was written by and the story behind it all. Using her job's resources, she tracks down the author in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He is Garret Blake, a terse ship-builder and restorer whose discomfort with the world around him is alleviated only by his passion for the sea.

Kevin Costner (Blake) does well with roles that don't require a lot of overt emotion and he does well here. Robin Wright-Penn as Theresa was very good as the reporter who gets all too caught up in her story. A special mention of Paul Newman here doing yeoman character work as Blake's father Dodge, who understands his son's pain all too well and who tries to help all around him keep their emotions in check and headed in the right direction.

The movie's downfall comes from a meandering plot from screenwriter Gerald DiPego ("Phenomenon") and a decidedly downbeat denouement. However, the acting, locations, and direction of Luis Mandoki are good, bordering on excellent.

My score: 6.5

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A delightful movie that will touch your heart & make you smile.

Author: badger-33 from Callifornia, USA
19 October 1999

Message in a bottle, is one of the best romance stories I have ever seen. I am not a big romance fan, but Kevin Costner fan I am. I do not feel that anyone would walk away from this movie disappointed. It really touches the heart on falling in love and the long painful healing you have when you love someone with all of your heart and they leave you. But.... it also shows the hope for love after love.

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Great Movie, but..

Author: Sunruner-2 ( from North Carolina USA
9 October 1999

The producers needed to pay more attention to details. I live in North Carolina and know what the coast looks like. That's not it. It's very very obvious it was filmed in New England. If you want to base a movie in NC's Outer Banks... please film it in Wilmington. And NC doesn't have a license plate on the front of the car.

Having gotten that off my chest... AWESOME movie. Made my heart sing. Wonderfully sweet. Kevin Costner played his patented role of the silent, sweet, still waters run deep man. Robin Wright Penn played a great role. Not your normal perfect female role.

Great great movie... Ending does not meet your normal expectations, but takes you by surprise.

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Love lost and found...

Author: Maxi-14 from West Coast
7 October 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's going to actually be a spoiler in this one. I can't really describe my reaction to this movie with out it. This movie starts out painfully slow. The location shots are wonderful. The scenes on the ocean make you feel like you are there. Paul Newman is wonderful and he has a few really good lines. Kevin Costner basically snoozed through this one. He has good movies and this wasn't one of them. This movie starts out so slow I'd start to lose interest and started to write it off as good background noise, the sound track is very good, then towards the end of the movie it finally got me involved. I started to actually care about the characters. Now here's the spoiler this movie has a tragic ending. It isn't as heart wrenching as City of Angels with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan but one of the main characters does tragically die. So if you are looking forward to an upbeat romance this isn't it.

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Excellent movie - I give Kevin Costner a 10 on this one!

Author: Dulce Bass ( from Lumberton NC
29 September 1999

I saw this movie when it first came out in February this year and have seen it several more times since then. Very good story which can happen to anyone. I loved the Newman/Costner father/son pairing - they should do it again. They look like they could be that in real life. Newman has always been my favorite anyway. And Kevin Costner's acting is as good as always if not better. He can speak a thousand words with his face. Robin Wright Penn played a very good part also. I just loved this movie, except for the ending. Rent the video! I highly recommend it.

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The cinematography is terrific. This movie is a sweet love story, with touching moments and with its sad moments.

Author: Rosemea D.S. MacPherson from US
27 September 1999

Kevin Costner, (JFK, Dances with Wolves, For the Love of the Game) Garret Blake is a widower. He wrote a message to his deceased wife and put the note in a bottle and threw it in the ocean. His wife also had done the same thing. Robin Wright (Forest Gump) Theresa Osborne, is a divorcee who is really disillusioned with men. She has a son. Theresa is jogging and finds the bottle with the note and has to find out where Garret lives. She is a researcher/writer and tracks him down and decides that she should meet Garret. When she goes to meet him, she meets his dad Paul Newman (Nobody's Fool) Dodge Blake. Dad is a wonderful guy. He and his son are close and they watch out for each other. The cinematography is terrific! This movie is a sweet love story, with touching moments and with its sad moments. We enjoyed watching. I recommend it. However do not expect it to be "a chick movie" because it is not. It is a romance. The beginning reminded me somewhat of Sleepless in Seattle. But it is completely different. Favorite Scenes: Garret Blake working in his boat. What a craftsman! When Garret takes the kid sailing is a nice moment of male bonding. The brother-in-law coming to help Garret to work in the boat is another moment of male bonding and it is very nice! Favorite Quotes: Mrs. Blake: "the prayer is that everyone in the world will know that kind of love and be healed by it." ..."not even death will knock down this house." Dodge Blake: "You choose between yesterday and tomorrow, pick and stick with it." Garret Blake ": So you will always know where you are and where home is" . .

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The Loss and the coping

Author: Sinan Karasu ( from Seattle WA
26 September 1999

The amazing thing about this movie is the insight into loss of love/parent/death/suicide(well OK that is not there but...)

I think it is very hard for those without loss/snakes in their past to appreciate this movie. This movie has been derided for not having a cathartic ending. However in real life there is no catharsis. My favorite statement is the one of Titanic survivors waiting for a redemption that never came. If you still suffer from snakes, watch this movie , and it will provide relief by not providing one. If you don't have any personal snakes to kill, then watch Sleepless in Seattle. You'll be better off.


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Who came up with the ending?

Author: Zach Klinefelter
13 September 1999

I must say that I found many parts of "Message in a Bottle" well done, but the pace, wildy out of place music, and sometimes stiff direction water down the impact of the film. It has occassionally good acting, and emotions run deep within the story, but the film's goals are set so high it falls all the more short of it's goal.

We are given a decent love story in the first 90 percent of the movie, not a great one, but a good one. We also see a decent depiction of a man trying to overcome personal obstacles so that he may love again, and we finally see him triumph.... when suddenly, for no reason at all, the carpet is pulled right under our feet.

The ending of "Message in a Bottle" disturbed me, not because of the fact that "not all life is happy endings," but that the filmmakers thought this was their best option available to them :kill off the lead actor so that we can make our movie different and more sad than the other romances out there. I have not read the novel, but the movie itself is a study of redemption, of forgiveness, and familial love. The ending is a study of nothing other than a desperate attempt by the filmmakers to tug at your tear ducts all the more. And that is all.

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Author: ram-16 from Indianapolis, IN
11 September 1999

For those who enjoy lacrimating, especially women, you'll like this film. Some beautiful scenery (why so much in Maine in lieu of NC?) Contrary to some comments, I thought its saving grace, in addition to the actors, was the ending. Overall, though, in the immortal words of Snow White's Grumpy, "Mush".

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Enough with the gender stereotypes!

Author: traveler-13 from Maine
7 September 1999

I'm a guy and I did in fact enjoy this film. Why is it that everyone thinks that men just want Sylvester Stallone or some other jock who only does shoot em ups? My father grew up in the 40's and he also enjoyed this movie because it was little more old fashioned and a little less rushed than most love stories. In other words, the couple don't rush into the sack to have sex on the first night.

It's not a "great" movie, but it's not bad either. And I actually happen to hate Costner.

As for the location, while the story might have been placed on the Outer Banks, just about all the coastal shots were in Maine around around the Popham Beach area. How they thought they could pass off the rocky coast of Maine as the flat Outer Banks is beyond me.

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