Fascinating movie

Message in a Bottle: Kevin Costner’s Sinking Career Saving Movie Releases on Neon

Message in a Bottle (PG, 126 minutes) Directed by Luis Mandoki *** ½

In 1999, Kevin Costner was a man in dire need of box office success.

After a series of flops, including the inflated budget Water world and the three hour exploration that was The postman, the old one Field of dreams and Dance with the wolves the stars were in desperate need of a change of fortune – and genre (post-apocalyptic dramas clearly weren’t working for him).

Something that would propel him back to star status and rekindle audiences’ memories of him in those beloved hits earlier. Step into this romantic drama, adapted from a bestselling novel by a still relatively unknown author named Nicholas Sparks.

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Like so many other emotional stories from the North Carolina-based writer (think Nights in Rodanthe Where The best of me, specifically), A message is the story of a second chance love – in this case Garrett (Costner) and Theresa (Robin Wright).

One day while on vacation, Theresa, a divorced Chicago newspaper researcher, finds the eponymous note in a drinking vessel. It is from someone called “G”, a letter written to his wife Catherine, recounting his feelings of loss when he left.

Robin Wright and Kevin Costner star in Message in a Bottle.

Provided

Robin Wright and Kevin Costner star in Message in a Bottle.

Captivated by the opening of the letter, Theresa and her colleagues publish it, eliciting a massive response from the public, including a second letter from “G” to his wife.

Distraught now, Theresa seeks to find the writer and ends up discovering that he is a boatbuilder in South Carolina. What she finds is a man still in mourning after two years of widowhood.

More than twenty years ago Message in a bottle felt like old school romance, being part of a wave of similar stories like Madison County Bridges, City of Angels and The one who whispers in the ears of horses.

While one cannot escape the pervasive feeling that it will all end in tears (be warned – this is a three-tissue tragedy that purposefully targets your heart), the story of Message is intriguing and the characters endearing. This is not a movie for action fans, or people who like their fast paced movies. A message meanders, methodically dealing with each drama as the characters discuss their issues.

While one cannot escape the pervasive feeling that it will all end in tears (be forewarned - this is a three-tissue tragedy that purposefully targets your heart), the story of Message in a Bottle is intriguing. and endearing characters.

Provided

While one cannot escape the pervasive feeling that it will all end in tears (be forewarned – this is a three-tissue tragedy that purposefully targets your heart), the story of Message in a Bottle is intriguing. and endearing characters.

What keeps him from drowning in the schmaltz is the performance of the lead pair and a formidable, sour turn from veteran Paul Newman. His Dodge (Garrett’s dad) adds some much-needed spice to a story that’s a little too sweet.

That said, this is indeed Costner’s show, and it demonstrates all of the charms that made him a Hollywood crush at the start of the decade.

Message in a bottle is now airing on Neon.


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