Skip to main content

Message in a Bottle (1999)

Message in a Bottle. Feature film. (1999, 131 mins) IMDB

...Here's where I wanted to see a Hollywood ending and was greatly disappointed....


so much wanted to enjoy this movie and there are some moments but, well, there are lots of buts.

A bit about the story. It's a romance, a dramatic one, not a romantic comedy. I don't think there's a comic moment in the film.

Costner plays a shipwright on the southern east coast of the US. He was married at one point, to his true love, in his words, his true north, but she died. He wallows in his grief and at one point he typed up love notes to her, stuffed them into bottles and tossed them into the Atlantic ocean where presumably the Gulf Stream carried them north where on a Cape Code beach our other love interest played by Robin digs the bottle out of the sand.

She's a divorced single mom. They are both in the late thirties or early forties. She's captivated by the love notes and begins a search for the mysterious lover. Since she's a researcher at the Chicago Tribune (convenience) she tracks him down, visits and falls in love all over again.

He's not so sure because he hasn't let go of his wife. That's the battle. He has to let go of the past and move on to this present situation and he does until he finds out what brought them together. They had a good thing going until he finds the bottles and messages and newspaper coverage and leaves her. They had to split and do.

His transformation is shown with a boat he started working on with his late wife, but stopped building with her death. With someone new in his life, he gets back to building it and launching it and sets sail for Chicago (it's possible), but tragedy strikes and we have a lame, "heroic" ending.

The ending is such a downer, it destroys our sense of hope. This was supposed to be a Hollywood film, but I guess they filmmakers weren't aware of Hollywood endings. I'm not for or against Hollywood endings, but the ending must fit the story and in this instance our hero dives from his sailboat during a raging storm in the Atlantic, in winter. It's a crazy thing to do and he does it for no reason. There is no reason he should dive into the water.

I also found a great of the dialogue between the two, especially early on, to be adolescent. It was as if they were bashful, thirteen-year olds at a school dance in the gym. Not what you'd expect for adult romance.

And from the hard to believe folder, it's hard to believe this film is ten years old. And more incredible that Paul Newman is gone. We knew it would come, but, well, he is one of my favourite film stars. Cary Grant ranks number one and Newman is probably number two.

Posted 2009/02/08 at 20h01ET in Movie Commentary.


Popular posts from this blog

Cast of Characters from The Protectors

Friday, September 16, 2011 ... Cast of Characters from The Protectors... M ost novels do not include a list of characters, although I have read some with them. Tolstoy readers would likely appreciate it. Plays do. Scripts don’t. Not sure what the thinking is, but I didn’t include it with my novel. I had a feeling I’d be shot if I had suggested it, but with the internet, I can provide such a list and here is the list of the major players in my first novel The Protectors (A Thriller).
Black Carr Security Consultants Limited Baird Carr, Former CIA Officer, Co-founder, OwnerEmerson Black, Former Secret Service Agent, Co-founder, OwnerSarah Bishop, Former FBI Agent, Senior ConsultantDebra Paeytonne, Office AdministratorBeth, ReceptionistStephen Tedeschi, Former Secret Service Agent, ConsultantNigel, Independent Consultant
U.S. Secret Service Ken Milton, DirectorRichard Heyward, Retired AgentJulian Constance, Agent, Killed in Assassination AttemptTrisha Evrington, AgentTerry Flannon, Agen…

Writing a Novel–The Deep Blue Cage–Introduction

Thursday, March 9th, 2017... I fight my insecurities and doubts and I withdraw farther away from people and life ... I n November 2016 I started work on a new novel with the working title: The Deep Blue Cage. A few weeks after I started, I stopped. I was feeling too depressed about everything including the idea of writing a new novel. It happens to me at various times, with varying degrees, and it is debilitating. The ultimate issue was: Why bother? Why bother write another novel no one will read and no one will care about. I also found I was dreading the writing process more and more. It was painful to think about. I walked away and focused on other things. Or tried to. That didn’t work either. I felt trapped and unsure where I should head, what I should do. I even asked the big question, what the hell is life about anyway. There’s no one answer to this question despite the proclamations of some and because I believe I can think critically, can reason, I look at it from many an…


Thursday, September 6, 2012
A homonym.
FAIRY—A fairy tale. A fairy godmother. Fairy—not a long, long way to run.
FERRY—A boat or ship to transport drunken Swedes back home from Copenhagen. It’s the Danish beer.
FairyFerrySamantha the Swimming Fairy by Daisy MeadowsEvening Ferry by Katherine Towler
Posted 2012/09/06 at 5h02ET in Words, Writing.