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5.0 out of 5 stars Chick-Flick extraordinaire
Kevin Costner and Robin Wright-Penn star in this romantic, sentimental, and heart-tugging drama about love lost and found. Teresa, played by Penn, is a newspaper writer who finds a love letter in a bottle, and is so taken with its honesty that she finds the author, in the hope of writing a column about him. It is, of course, Costner, who plays Garret, a sailboat...
Published on May 26 2003 by Kona

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Sappy story but somehow lackluster
Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn, along with Paul Newman and Robbie Coltrane star in this stomach-turning film based on Nicholas Sparks's titled novel. Penn plays Theresa Osbovue, a woman who falls in love with a man she has never met. A single-mom following a heart-breaking divorce, Theresa retains custody of her son Jason. On a solitary vacation while Jason visits...
Published on Jan. 30 2003 by Matthew M. Yau


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5.0 out of 5 stars Chick-Flick extraordinaire, May 26 2003
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Message/Bottle (VHS Tape)
Kevin Costner and Robin Wright-Penn star in this romantic, sentimental, and heart-tugging drama about love lost and found. Teresa, played by Penn, is a newspaper writer who finds a love letter in a bottle, and is so taken with its honesty that she finds the author, in the hope of writing a column about him. It is, of course, Costner, who plays Garret, a sailboat builder, who wrote the letter to his late wife. He and Teresa fall in love, against a backdrop of the beautiful Outer Banks, until Garret discovers her original motive, and feels betrayed.
Wright-Penn is lovely and holds her own with Costner, who does so well in this type of role - brooding, hurt, and ready to love again. Paul Newman, as Garret's curmudgeon father, almost steals the show. His loveable and wise old coot balances the sweetness of the love story, to make the film a very satisfying and memorable one. Guys take note: This one is for the ladies. There are no car chases or explosions, but it would make a very good date movie. I highly recommend this film especially to Kevin Costner's fans, who enjoy him in romantic and tender roles.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sappy story but somehow lackluster, Jan. 30 2003
By 
Matthew M. Yau "Voracious reader" (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn, along with Paul Newman and Robbie Coltrane star in this stomach-turning film based on Nicholas Sparks's titled novel. Penn plays Theresa Osbovue, a woman who falls in love with a man she has never met. A single-mom following a heart-breaking divorce, Theresa retains custody of her son Jason. On a solitary vacation while Jason visits his dad, Theresa is jogging along a remote stretch of coastline when she picks up a sand-immersed bottle containing a passionate letter signed G. The letter turns out to be a heartfelt soliloquy to Catherine. After Theresa's boss publishes the sappy note on the newspaper, Theresa unexpectedly receives a plethora of responses and oddly more letters of the same letterhead turns up at her office. The bittersweet poetry from the letter pulls Theresa's heartstrings and prompts her to search for this man known as the initial G. The movie has adopted from Sparks' novel and seen minor modifications such as the locations of places and the much. Theresa's search for Garret Blake is somewhat cut short in the movie. So if you're interested you should read the novel before watching the movie. Other than that the movie sticks with the original plot:still sad, poignant and heartbreaking, and a bit stomach-turning. Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn make an interesting couple to watch. I have to compliment on the beautiful cinematography. The movie, however, is not a bad selection for those who want to enjoy a cozy quiet evening at home. 37/50 3.7 stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Some fair parts individually, but they just don't add up., Nov. 11 2002
By 
Steve Shubert (Santa Monica, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
It wasn't a total loss. There were definitely some things to enjoy in this film. I always enjoy beautiful scenery and the supporting roles were all finely done, especially Savage, Newman and Coltrane. But while Robin Wright was good, and Costner was fair, I saw no believable chemistry between them.
For me, the most enjoyable part of the movie was watching the personal growth of Robin Wright's character, although it did require some suspension of disbelief that Costner's character was a major component of that growth.
But it was the ending that left me furious, and horribly disappointed. I don't require the ending to be a happy one, but this tragedy felt entirely artificial. I can only hope that the book made it more believable than the film did. How on Earth could someone have the presence of mind to throw a line to drowning people, haul them in, and then immediately jump into the same churning ocean WITHOUT TAKING THAT LINE WITH HIM! Stupid is far to generous a term for such idiocy. I would have thought he must be suicidal except that he wrote that last message that made it clear he finally had something to live for. Oh the (contrived) irony...
A not quite three star film, with a few four star moments, and a zero star ending.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lost at Sea, Sept. 25 2002
By 
Alan Breck (Jersey City, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn star in this stomach-turning film based on Nicholas Sparks's sappy novel. Penn plays a Chicago Tribune researcher who finds the title "character" on a beach. After her boss publishes the mushy contents, other messages appear. Penn and her associates track down the cheesy Romeo, and she travels to his home on the North Carolina's Outer Banks. Of course, she does not reveal the reason for her visit, and falls in love with him. You can imagine the dramatic possibilities that follow. In fact, you've seen them before.
Almost nothing in the film rings true. Every twist is predictable and unbelievable, devised only to tug at the heartstrings. Could Costner truly be this obsessed with his dead wife and still love Penn- a woman with whom he has nothing in common? Possibly, but the filmmakers make no effort to show what draws these two very different people to one another. Instead, their attraction is assumed. Without it there's no film. The idea that anyone, let alone Penn's educated newspaper-woman, would even consider speaking with Costner's brooding, troubled, and occasionally violent boat-builder strains credibility. Instead of a man with a romantic nature, we get a man caught between obsessive-compulsive disorder and a coma.
Only the supporting players survive with their dignity intact. Robbie Coltrane does a nice turn as Penn's boss, and Paul Newman triumphs over the material as Costner's crusty father.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Touching Adult Love Story., April 13 2002
This review is from: Message/Bottle (VHS Tape)
********************NO SPOILERS HERE***********************.
This film tells a very good story of love, fate, loss, and hope.
It deals with the complexity of grief very well and anyone who has loved will empathize with the 2 central characters in this film. You generally give a toss for the characters, so heres the story in a nutshell.
Theresa (played by Robin Wright Penn ) is out jogging on a beach one morning and finds a bottle embedded in the sand, in the bottle contains a heartbreaking letter of someone who knows his partner is about to die, Theresa is so infatuated by the heart wrenching contents and poetry in the mans letter she dedicates all her time into finding him and when she does a love story develops and if I go any further I'll spoil it for you.
Now I'm a man and love Boys movies and hadnt cried in 3 years until I watched this film , its THE most beautiful coherent and honest love story told, without pulling any punches, no meaningless sweaty love scenes or whipped cream flying around, just an epic tale of romance , great characterizations, consumate acting from Kevin Costner, Paul Newman (very underplayed and moving) and Robin Penn all very good.
If you like films in the shape of 'City Of Angels', 'The English Patient' , 'Beaches', Terms Of Endearment etc this will be in your collection and the soundtrack is also awesome check reviews for that too.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Have a gratuitious death scene to invoke emotion, April 11 2002
By 
E. Lambeth (Paso Robles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Let's see. A romantic drama about a woman who searches for the man who writes beautiful missives to his dead wife.
How powerful are these words? Princess Bride's journalist character travels down south to visit the man who wrote this beautiful letter in a bottle to his wife. She's intrigued by him. By his writing. How can a man love so much! She MUST know this man!
Until she sees that the man who wrote this stuff is a balding, overweight guy. Well, maybe that letter wasn't THAT great. Maybe he copied it out of a book anyways. Besides that, it's silly trying to find out about a guy who wrote something very private. I think I'll go home....WAIT A MINUTE. Kevin Coster is the man that wrote that letter...not the average looking, everyday fellow that nobody would be attracted to! NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, that letter really WAS intriguing! I MUST find out more about this guy!
Gimme a break. Costner's a hottie to Wright, especially since her mysteriously doesn't say much. She'll learn later that he doesn't say much because he hasn't much to say. With memorable pick up lines such as "Do you like meat", Costner must've been advised to keep his yap shut as much as possible...and it was brilliant advice. In fact, the more he talks in this movie, the more he puts his foot in his mouth. Wright touches dead wife's shoe (Costner leaves a room in his house untouched as a tribute to his dead wife), and that makes Costner FREAK. Costner actually spends the whole movie being quiet, giving mixed signals, pining for his dead wife, and acting like an extreme introvert. BUT THIS DOESN'T TURN OFF WRIGHT in the LEAST! Nope. She invites him to Chicago, has a sex scene with him (I guess she's loose, but it doesn't add to the romance of the movie, and seems like it doesn't really fit in the movie).
Romantic dramas work with solid dialogue. There was no banter between Costner and Wright in this movie. Instead, we watch them spending time with each other, with music playing in the background in place of words, showing us that the two are having wonderful conversations, without us actually hearing what they have to say to each other. Maybe it should be assumed that they have a lot to say to each other, but why would I assume that? In the parts of the movie where they have conversation, it's awkward and the dialogue is, well, dull.
The romance is unbelievable. What we have here is Wright's character acting like a desparate woman who wants a good lookin' man in her life so bad that she'll ignore obvious signs that should make her run away. Fine, if you don't sugarcoat it into looking like a classic romance between two people that naturally go together like ham n eggs. They don't. And again, NO CLEVER DIALOGUE IN THE WHOLE MOVIE. I watched it in the theatre, and thought the sex scene was a half-bleep attempt at forcing a romance in our heads. Sex doesn't assume romance. It assumes sex when there's nothing else going for this couple.
I've beaten that to death. Paul Newman overacted so bad it was embarrassing. I blame the director for this one. Newman knows how to act.
The death scene looked like an insurance policy. As if the movie wasn't tragic and sad enough, hey let's have a death scene to jerk some tears. I know. It's what the book called for. Still, make us care about the characters more before you throw in a death scene. I didn't care. I was insulted. A man's family goes out for a pleasure sail in stormy waters. Makes sense. I'd take my wife and small child on a pleasure sail in the middle of a storm. Yes, a sailor gets storm warnings before he leaves dock or he gets it from the radio.
So everybody capsizes, and Coster saves the family instead of the husband, who waits on Costner's boat for Costner to save his family. I guess the husband, seeing his family in danger, was more concerned with preventing pneumonia. Gimme a break.
If you check your brain at the door, you might not find this movie to be horrible. I still don't see how you manage to find it entertaining, though. And I like Costner and Wright!
This movie stinks eggs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good weekend rental, May 29 2001
By 
Jeffrey Leeper "kem2070" (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Message/Bottle (VHS Tape)
Although the main actors in this movie are Costner and Wright-Penn, I would have to say that I like Paul Newman the best. His acting came across as a bit more profound and true than did the others.
Costner and Wright-Penn do good jobs in portraying their characters. The former, a widower trying to come to grips with his loss, and the latter, a divorced mom wanting to believe that there are good, sensitive men still out there in the world. This movie bring you with them in their journey as they discover that life does go on.
Visually, I really didn't find a lot of panoramic shots as you might find in "The Prince of Tides." Given that this movie was on the Southern coast, I would have like to get more of a flavor for where Costner's character was coming from.
After the credits, the special edition includes deleted footage from the movie. The director explains what he was thinking when he shot the footage as well as why he was told it should be deleted. I think the scene in the shop fit the dialogue of the movie better, but I agree that the phone call was unnecessary. I would recommend this version for these deleted scenes. I don't think it created any great epiphany for me, but I found it interesting to hear what the director thought about the movie.
I would recommend seeing this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected surprise!, Feb. 14 2001
By 
Mr N Forbes-warren "author of RESURGENCE and ... (Newport, South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
This is a movie I bought primarily for my wife, I thought on first impressions when reading the back cover it would be a chick-flick. How wrong I was. This movie is best enjoyed on DVD for its seaborne settings more than anything - the Maine locations, doubling up for South Carolina are a joy to look at and add to the movie's many delights. But most of all, the performers are superb. Robin Wright-Penn plays Thresea, a divorcee and reporter who stumbles across a message in a green bottle addressed to one Catherine. She tracks down the sender to South Carolina - boat builder Garret Blake, played brilliantly by Kevin Costner who proves he's not typecast in action roles all the time! Blake is mourning his dead wife Catherine . . . and before you know it, time spent on his yacht and a bit of opening up his feelings brings out the romantic in both of them. But all does not run well in love as the plot takes on an interesting twist when he visits Theresa and her son in Chicago.And the ending, although a wee bit predictacle, is a real crusher, but then life has its ups and downs as well, one may say. Overall, this movie, like the also thought-provoking and brilliant WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, is one which you must watch with a wife or partner. I definitely agree with other reviews - it will make you appreciate each other a lot more and not take him or her for granted. Also watch out for Paul Newman as Blake's father - another very talented performer! A must see.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Love Story, Jan. 14 2001
By 
D. Keating (Bristow, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Message/Bottle (VHS Tape)
I rented this movie because my wife wanted something that she would enjoy (as opposed to all the war/action films that I have rented lately). I mainly chose this movie because of the actors, not because I had read the book. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good film. A bit predictable at times, but a good story.
I thought the story concept worked well, and I really enjoyed all the scenes shot at the Outer Banks. We used to vacation there, and it is a wonderful place to go and relax. The only part of the movie I didn't like (and my wife didn't like it either) was the ending. It seems like the director looked at his watch, noticed the movie was already over two hours long, so he decided it needed to end in 10 more minutes. The ending just doesn't do a very good job of putting all the pieces together.
Like some of the other reviews, I recommend renting this movie instead of buying it. It is a good movie to watch with your significant other, or possibly even a good "date movie". It does talk about some pretty heavy topics (like death of a spouse, and divorce), so be warned....not everyone is happy in the end.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wright-Penn, Newman and Costner too good for this garbage, Oct. 1 2000
This review is from: Message/Bottle (VHS Tape)
Wow. I have a real dilemma here. I'm sitting here trying to figure out a way to say as delicately as possible that this movie is a real piece of crap. I could start in on some sarcasm, because I really enjoy being sarcastic at the right moment....something like, go ahead, watch Message in a Bottle if you are on death row and have nothing better to do. Before I get too nasty, maybe I should explain.
First off, no, I didn't read the book. Maybe that would've helped. I think practically everyone I've ever known who read the book before seeing the movie, still said, "The book was better." So, knowing that, I say the book HAS to be better because the movie was so bad.
Message in a Bottle begins in a somewhat interesting fashion. Theresa, played by Robin Wright Penn, is jogging along the beach and finds a message in a bottle. It appears to be a love letter of sorts to a woman named Catherine. Theresa is so intrigued with this letter that she shows the lady at the inn, her co-workers, that dog of the neighbors that bites everyone....sorry, this sarcasm just takes over my body sometimes.
So, Theresa does research for a Chicago newspaper and a columnist for the paper decides to print the letter. It's content is intriguing to everyone, so, since she found the letter, she starts researching its origin. This is one of few things I found sort of interesting. The methods employed in tracking down the author of the message in a bottle kept me interested. But unfortunately, that part of the movie lasts about 5 minutes tops. Then, I was instantly bored again.
So, she tracks down the origin of the message, and goes on a mission to exploit, I mean FIND, this Ernest Hemmingway of bottled messages. Kevin Costner, who plays Garet Blake, churns out his usual monotone performance. Don't get me wrong. There are some Kevin Costner movies I really like. Honestly, I do. But, those have been the movies where the storyline fashioned itself around his calm, everyman demeanor. This movie moves too slowly and has too few other characters to support his usual "no acting is good acting" method. Kevin, buddy, just for fun, put some emotion in your character the next time.
I'm no psychologist, so I really don't know the professional theory on whether it's men or women who hold grudges longer. I think everyone will agree no one can hold a grudge longer than a teenage girl, but I'm talking about grown men and women, and their relationships with each other. However, talking about forgiveness, there is a really nice moment of forgiveness between two men in this film. Like I've said before, you love those moments in movies when your heart stops, just slightly. This is one such moment, even if every other moment stinks, this one is good.
For those of you reaching, hoping for something to love, you can love Paul Newman. He is the only reason to watch the movie, if you really feel you have to. He plays, Dodge, Garet's grumpy, surly father. You may be pleasantly reminded of the old codger in your life. So, it's kind of fun to watch movie characters who remind you of someone you already know. His role, though small, is practically the only redeeming part of this film. There's not much more I can say regarding plot, what little there is anyway, without spoiling the movie. I think this movie was supposed to be a chick flick, but, being a chick, I could hardly stand it. There isn't one shred of testosterone in this movie, so for those of you who enjoy a healthy dose of that, you've been duped. The whole movie could have been avoided if, instead of retreiving the message, the character of Theresa watches Martha Stewart and turns the bottle into a fabulous Christmas gift. Or maybe she could skip the creative stuff and just put some liquor in there and drink herself into a stupor instead. The plot moves along at a snail's pace and Robin Wright Penn and Kevin Costner deliver subpar performances. If I could put a message in a bottle about this movie: Forget It!
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Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import]
Message in a Bottle (Widescreen) [Import] by Luis Mandoki (DVD - 1999)
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