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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.95%
Worth A Look: 15.38%
Just Average28.21%
Pretty Crappy: 21.79%
Sucks: 16.67%

6 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Message in a Bottle
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by Cochise

"If you are the romantic type, you may need some kleenex."
3 stars

“Message in a Bottle” is a tear-jerker. But, even though it may bring a tear to your eye, the movie is not a crappy and soppy love story. It is engrossing and entertaining.

The main female character (Theresa) discovers a message in a bottle on a beach. The message is written to someone named Catherine. Theresa becomes fascinated by the message, tracks down the writer, and she and the writer fall in love.

WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.

The film begins slowly, but the pace picks up quickly. The early comedy and also the investigation Theresa goes through to find the writer of the message kept me interested.

One problem I found with the plot was that Theresa did not find it particularly difficult to find the writer of the message. The film would have been more interesting if she had found it more difficult to find Garret. She should have had to use more complicated investigative procedures than she did. This would have made the bottle and its message more mysterious.

I also felt that the source of the bottle was not mysterious enough. The bottle came from the east coast of the U.S., not too far from where Theresa found it. I felt that, instead of the bottle coming from an ordinary place, it should have come from some mysterious and/or romantic location. Garret could then have been a more romantic character.

The film is about emotional healing. When me meet Theresa and Garret, they are two damaged and lonely people who reach out to each other. Theresa is suffering because she has a failed relationship. Garret is in pain because he has lost his wife, Catherine. When Catherine first meets Garret, he is not able to get over his wife’s death. This is obvious because he has not changed his dead wife's area of the house, and has left her art work where it was when she died.

However, when Garret and Theresa start to fall in love, they begin to get over their problems. We see that Garret is healing when he begins to work on his boat. The milestone in Garret’s healing is when Catherine discovers that Garret has removed all of his dead wife’s things from his house. Theresa's healing is not complete until the end, when she ironically loses Garret due to a boating accident. In spite of losing him, she is able to say, "Loss has been part of my journey but it has also shown me what is precious. So has a love for which I can only be grateful."

We also see how Garret's relationship with his ex-wife's family is healed by his returning Catherine's paintings to them and by Catherine's brother helping Garret build the boat.

One major weakness I felt the film had was the lack of chemistry between the two leads. This may have been due to Costner's acting style. However, in spite of this, I think Costner's style did suit the type character he played.

This film had many strengths. One particular strong point was the scene between Garret and Christine's brother. This wordless exchange between them said a lot more than spoken dialogue ever could. Another strength was the casting of Paul Newman as he added a lot to the film. Also, the director successfully contrasted the cold world of Chicago with Garret's personal world, a much more intimate and warmer world of boat building and sailing.

The region 4 DVD has an excellent audio commentary by the director.

I didn't believe this film would be any good when the lady in the video store recommended that I should hire it. But I am glad I did, as it is an entertaining film and I enjoyed it. I think you will too.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=972&reviewer=228
originally posted: 12/18/01 08:05:01
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User Comments

10/27/09 the dork knight decent job by Newman but nothing you haven't seen before 3 stars
3/07/08 Pamela White very romantic 4 stars
10/04/07 precilla it was so amazing when i read the novel it consist of love 5 stars
7/07/06 Kyle Oh, so very boring. 2 stars
5/26/06 Sheena book is not given justice with this movie. read it rather than watch it. 2 stars
5/26/06 Carol Baker a nice little love story but too cheesy for me. 3 stars
11/23/05 me I loved the movie, pretty sad but really good 5 stars
10/03/04 shane fabuloso 5 stars
8/12/04 lisa weindorf I loved the love 4 stars
5/16/04 John really quite charming 4 stars
2/17/04 Rhonda Fields I LOVED it, could done w/o all the cursing. My favorite all time movie!! 5 stars
8/22/03 Sherlynn Cheung It was an excellent film!! 5 stars
6/27/03 Bliss 1. Nothing like the book. 2. Costner too old for the part. 3. As if... 3 stars
3/27/03 Pam be Dextrous C'mon Jack. How can a total crap movie have a saving grace? Whole cast wasted. 1 stars
3/23/03 Jack Sommersby Dullsville. Newman is film's saving grace. 1 stars
1/10/03 Desperado All the way up to the ending I was thinking great movie. Then piss-poor ending made it suck 2 stars
6/21/02 steve donaghy i love this movie every time i see it the tears start steaming down my face. 5 stars
3/16/02 FlaFan Sweet yet heartbreaking movie, with a great Costner performance. 5 stars
11/28/01 The $1.98 Pyramid C'mon! Catherine's been dead for two years! Snap out of it! 3 stars
7/03/01 TLsmooth Newman must be going crazy to take part in this week old shit of a film. 2 stars
8/02/00 Piz warm but tedious at times, Newman is killer, Great Soundtrack! 3 stars
7/12/00 Terrie Smith Tedious to say the least; Paul Newman walks away with the film.ay with 3 stars
3/11/00 "Persnickety "Jenn the ending was nothing short of pure crap, easy way out, other then that could've ben great 3 stars
2/24/00 fire-n-ice good movie to see with your man. but the ending was too sad!!!! 4 stars
2/05/00 Kyle Broflovski Oh, boo-hoo-hoo, people. Particularly lameass entry in the romantic-lead-gets-offed field. 2 stars
9/21/99 Ritt Suzanne I have always wanted to start a sailing-course; but this film has really got me started. I 4 stars
9/13/99 missy i thought it could have been a better end 3 stars
8/24/99 terence smith average film; paul newman still shines at 73 3 stars
4/12/99 Go Swans All I can say is lucky I didn't see this too late at night. The worst film this year. 1 stars
4/08/99 Big Jimmy They should combine the plot of this movie with that of RAVENOUS and see what happens 2 stars
4/04/99 Cool Thing The ending and Costner ruined a decent romance. 2 stars
3/24/99 Michael Prince True Romance and then some 5 stars
3/14/99 David Smith The movie for the most part was a good one, however the end of the movie took it all away!! 1 stars
3/03/99 Mr Showbiz Do yourself a favour and spend 2 hrs looking at scrimshaw, instead of this flick. 1 stars
3/02/99 Jerry-93 Best Love Story since *Last House on the Left*!!! 2 stars
2/26/99 Jennifer Bennett This movie was very slow, the only good thing was Paul Newman> 2 stars
2/23/99 denise ugh. Loved Paul Newman, but it was boring and the ending was really, really, really awful 1 stars
2/18/99 The Graduate Pretty straightforward, but your girlfriend will love it. 3 stars
1/24/99 Dark Horizons It's definitely a good example of a love story. Costner was actually good. 4 stars
1/23/99 Kirgo1 Excruciating! 1 stars
1/13/99 Wendy Gilbaugh I laughed out loud when I saw Costner as the mysterious message writer. Give me a break! 2 stars
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  12-Feb-1999 (PG-13)


  01-Apr-1999 (PG)

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