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Message in a Bottle
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Message in a Bottle

4.0 13
Director: Luis Mandoki

Cast: Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, Paul Newman


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Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, Message In A Bottle stars Robin Wright Penn as Theresa Osborne, a writer for the Chicago Tribune. While her son visits her cheating ex-husband, Theresa goes on a vacation by herself. One day, while running on the beach, she finds a bottle washed up on the shore. She opens it and inside finds a love letter unlike any she's


Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, Message In A Bottle stars Robin Wright Penn as Theresa Osborne, a writer for the Chicago Tribune. While her son visits her cheating ex-husband, Theresa goes on a vacation by herself. One day, while running on the beach, she finds a bottle washed up on the shore. She opens it and inside finds a love letter unlike any she's ever read. Captivated by the author's words of love, she returns to her job at the Tribune where she convinces her boss to run an article about the mystery writer, known only as "G." He approves, and Theresa begins her hunt. Scrutinizing every physical detail of the letter and the path the bottle may have taken, she eventually locates Garret Blake (Kevin Costner), a North Carolina boat-restorer who has not been the same since the tragic death of his beloved wife Catherine. Since her death, Garret has written several letters to his dead wife, put them in a bottles, and let them loose in the sea. As Theresa spends time with Garret, she quickly falls in love with him, though she neglects to tell him she knows about the letters. Garret, prodded by his cantankerous, no-nonsense dad, Dodge (Paul Newman), emerges from his shell of grief and develops an interest in Theresa as well. Theresa returns to Chicago and Garret soon visits her; he meets her son, Jason (Jesse James), but also discovers her knowledge of the letters. Eventually the two, who have both lost love, must cast off their emotional baggage and decide if they will pursue love even if it can't always last.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
There's a lot to like in this film from director Luis Mandoki, including a terrific, underrated performance by supporting player Paul Newman, decent production values, and two leads who seem to genuinely like each other -- no small plus in a doomed romance. The film's chief stumbling block is that the source material from Nicholas Sparks and subsequent script adaptation from Gerald Di Pego make the blooming attraction between protagonists Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn seem so predestined, so utterly fated, that the second-act conflicts that arise to keep them temporarily apart feel phony. After a great setup that rivals that of Sleepless in Seattle (1993), it's a letdown when petty concerns over how they met and letting go of the past come between two lovers who have been cast as a modern-day Orpheus and Eurydice. Still, Newman gives one of his great, gruff star turns here and John Savage, wasted in a bit part that is interesting enough to have been more substantial, does some yeoman-like supporting work, diverting attention away from the contrived nature of much of the film's middle portion. Message in a Bottle comes back around again in the end, with an ending that, while not exactly leaving the audience with the feeling that anything has been learned or gained that made the trip worthwhile for the film's surviving hero, also must be given credit for surprisingly not copping out with a typical Hollywood ending. Still, the film's central romance could have used some of the earthy, realistic touch of Mandoki's previous excellent relationship drama, White Palace (1990).

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Additional scenes; Commentary by director Luis Mandoki and producer Denise Di Novi; 5 special effects featurettes; Filmographies; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Costner Garret Blake
Robin Wright Theresa Osborne
Paul Newman Dodge Blake
John Savage Johnny Land
Illeana Douglas Lina Paul
Robbie Coltrane Charlie Toschi
Jesse James Jason Osborne
Bethel Leslie Mara Land
Tom Aldredge Hank Land
Viveka Davis Alva
Raphael Sbarge Andy
Richard Hamilton Chet
Rosemary Murphy Helen At The B&B
Steven Eckholdt David

Technical Credits
Luis Mandoki Director
Nicholas Sparks Author,Source Author
Jeffrey Beecroft Production Designer
Dorree Cooper Set Decoration/Design
Kevin Costner Producer
Mike Cukers Set Decoration/Design
Nancy Deren Set Decoration/Design
Caleb Deschanel Cinematographer
Andrea Dopaso Set Decoration/Design
Jose Antonio Garcia Sound/Sound Designer
Amanda Mackey-Johnson Casting
Masako Masuda Set Decoration/Design
Bruce G. Moriarty Asst. Director
Denise Di Novi Producer
Elaine O'Donnell Set Decoration/Design
Gerald Di Pego Screenwriter
Bernie Pollack Costumes/Costume Designer
Steve Saklad Art Director
Cathy Sandrich Casting
Steve Weisberg Editor
Leslie Weisberg Associate Producer
Jim Wilson Producer
Gabriel Yared Score Composer
Mark Zuelzke Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Message in a Bottle
1. By Herself [4:22]
2. Message in Bottle [3:39]
3. Wishful Thinking [1:59]
4. Another Letter [3:46]
5. Detective Work [4:25]
6. My Son's Place [2:28]
7. A Date to Sail [4:17]
8. A Thief and a Liar [2:29]
9. All Aboard [4:33]
10. Jackets Like That [4:28]
11. "I Don't Do This" [3:58]
12. David / Catherine [6:08]
13. Two Halves of War [5:41]
14. Together [4:16]
15. Trespassing [1:33]
16. More on Catherine [2:36]
17. Wish It Was Easier [5:47]
18. Headed Inland [5:54]
19. Mutually Glad [3:41]
20. Around Town [2:53]
21. Jason's Night Out [4:12]
22. Garret's Discovery [3:15]
23. The Third Letter [4:30]
24. So Much Pain / Love [3:13]
25. Homecoming [1:21]
26. Finish / Started [3:48]
27. Dear Theresa [1:59]
28. To Catherine [3:24]
29. Not Lose You [2:33]
30. Dodge's Business [4:20]
31. All Figured Out [2:50]
32. Eye of the Storm [4:03]
33. Sad News [1:43]
34. The Whole Story [6:05]
35. End Credits [4:53]


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Message in a Bottle 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Katballou More than 1 year ago
Wonderful movie, a tear jerker at times but a wonderful love story.
BelleOK More than 1 year ago
Message in a Bottle is an excellent movie, heart breaking but a love story in the end. Maybe not Kevin Costners best performance but the movie is a beautiful, exciting story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even thought the book is completely different from the movie, the two shouldn't be compared as to which is better. The movie is lovely and tragic, as is the book. If you're looking for a movie to cry over on a lonely Saturday night, grab the tissues and prepare to fall in love with the characters from Message In A Bottle.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so good! All the actors give amazing performances. This is movie making at its very best. I recommend it for ages 11 and up.
YeseniaB More than 1 year ago
Any novel of Nicholas Sparks, to me, is amazing. Almost all his novels make me cry and long for a love like those. Just like every other book he has written, this book did just the same. I thought the plot was amazing. A girl semi heart broken goes on a journey to find a man she falls in love with from a letter. It is truly romantic. This book is very nicely written and makes you long for an alternate ending. Love is not love without a tragedy. I saw the movie but it does not compare to the novel. All though the casting was well put out, and the way they made the movie was wonderful too, the novel is just as good possibly even better. (: <33
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is touching. Very good performances. Its a believable story and its not overly done. I cried at the end...I won't say what happened, you'll have to find out for yourself, but its quite sad. It has a great story. I deffinately think you should watch this movie, its quite phenominal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie can never be compared to the book. In the movie they shorten and change the ideas of the book so much it distores the movie. Read the book before watching the movie and you will see what I am talking about.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is amazing and the actors to a wonderful job with it.....and of course I cried. The book which I enjoyed even more (which is very high praise), is, surprisingly so different from the movie that it is not fair to compare the two. The only simularites between them is the name of the the characters and the general plot line. To make the movie as moving as the book, it would have to be 5 hours long, and they cannot and will not do that, so....bottom line is, the movie's great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh, this movie is so wonderful. It's a moving yet believable love story that tugs your heartstrings all the way through. The acting is incredible and so much chemistry is portrayed between Robin Wright Penn and Kevin Costner. The ending is quite sad and if you have any emotions at all you will inevitably cry, cry for Theresa, cry for Garret, cry even for Dodge. This movie is powerful and I very much enjoyed it. Definitely recommended!
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