Message in a Bottle (1999) Review

When a woman finds a tragic love letter in a bottle on the beach she is determined to find the lonely soul who wrote it.


This is now the fourth Nicholas Spark novel – to movie adaptation I have seen. The others being (A Walk To Remember, The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe). They all have a link, being about a great love or loves and have very sad endings.

Message in a Bottle, was no different. It was the first of his books to be made into a movie. Yet I have just watched it for the first time. All the way through I just knew something tragic was going to happy at the end but could not quite figure out in what way it was going to be tragic.

It must be said that this movie had a very strong cast, of Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn and the great Paul Newman in the more supporting role. But it could be argued that he was also a lead character. As it may now be evident I am a massive fan of Kevin Costner and really would watch him in anything, he is such a manly man and I just love that.

Paul Newman was just fantastic as Dodge, Kevin Costners father and I thought they worked really well together in the father-son combination. I must admit that I have not seen many of Paul Newman’s movies but the ones I have seen he has always been just incredible. He really was a very gifted actor and in this role he was very charming and just darn right cute it has to be said.

I thought Robin Wright Penn was also very good, even if I still always see Jenny from Forrest Gump whenever I watch her in something or see her. But I thought her acting at the end when she found out about Garrett was totally spot on and the way she acted when her son was around was very funny.

Overall the story was about losing love, but then realising that you can actually love again and it does not take anything away from the first love. I think that is encouraging for a lot of people to see that you really can love again. I really did feel a lot of similarities to Nights in Rodanthe in this movie . . . or it should be the other way around really but I saw that first. Just the way that the two people looked at each other and got together and kind of fell in love in a few days. While I dont think it seems to realistic I really enjoyed it and think its such a lovely way to put people together and gives you hope that you could so easily fall in love with someone, kinda at first sight (who wouldnt fall in love with Kevin Costner or Richard Gere at first sight ?!?!! haha).

Garett’s relationship still with his ex-wife who had died two years earlier was difficult to watch at times and I really felt for Theresa when she actually went to the boat launch and he said he wishes she was there and misses her everyday that must have hurt so much to hear something like that. Its just a shame that he let her go when he caught up with her later. Much to Dodge’s annoance and that caused a bit of a row between father and son. Again Paul Newman was just great, telling him to punch him in the face, as he had told him it had nothing to do with him. This whole conversation made Garett see sense and write a final letter to Catherine.

I have just realised that I have not mentioned how Garett and Theresa met . . . she found a message in a bottle and worked for a newspaper and one of her collegues but it in his column. Which got a lot of response and two other letters were found. She managed to trace them to Garett and that is how they met. She did not tell him all of this, so when he found out he was not happy, but it turned out that one of the letters was the last thoughts of his died wife Catherine. So he eventually realised that she was gone. This was another similarity to Nights in Rodanthe . . . the letters at the end of the movies.

I really did enjoy this movie, I do love watching a bit of romance and while I did see the ending coming as it unfolded it was still just lovely, nice and soooo sad at the end. I find when the two people do not get together it is really difficult to watch one of them being sad and I have to admit that I was very close to tears.

3 thoughts on “Message in a Bottle (1999) Review

  1. In Feb 99 my husband was told he would have one & 1/2 years left to live, so we made the best of every day. When Message in a Bottle came out in theaters I had no idea about it we never watch sappy movies. In June of 99 I bought my husband a bottle with a message in it for fathers day, If I had known this movie was going to come out I would never have got that gift for him. my husband left us in july of 99.
    I bout the movie a few later, found out it was released on DVD 2 weeks after my husband passed. watch it once and never again. the ending is way to sad for me….


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