Message in a Bottle (film)
|Message in a Bottle|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Luis Mandoki|
|Produced by||Kevin Costner
Denise Di Novi
|Screenplay by||Gerald Di Pego|
|Music by||Gabriel Yared|
|Edited by||Steven Weisberg|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release dates||February 12, 1999|
|Running time||131 minutes|
Message in a Bottle is a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Luis Mandoki. Based on a novel with the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the film stars Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, and Paul Newman. Message in a Bottle was filmed in Maine, Chicago, and Wilmington, North Carolina.
Theresa Osborne, a former reporter, works as a researcher for the Chicago Tribune. On a trip to Cape Cod, she finds a mysterious, intriguing love letter in a bottle in the sand, addressed from Garret to Catherine. She is fascinated by it and comes into possession of two more letters by the same person, eventually tracking down the man who wrote them, Garret Blake. He refurbished a boat called Happenstence with his wife before her death and he lives quietly on the Outer Banks of North Carolina near his father, Dodge.
Theresa and Garret become better acquainted, but she does not reveal her knowledge of the love letters. Along with the literal distance between them — they live hundreds of miles apart — there is another problem: Garret cannot quite forgive Catherine for dying and leaving him.
Theresa's career flourishes as the romantic tale of the "messages in a bottle" is told in print, without naming names. Garret makes a trip to Chicago to visit Theresa and her young son. Their new love grows, until one day Garret finds his letters in a drawer in Theresa's apartment. Garret angrily confronts Theresa and, after a night of explanations, he goes home by himself.
A year later, Dodge tracks down Theresa. He informs her that his son Garret has died at sea in a storm while attempting to rescue someone else. A bottle with a message inside was found on his boat. Theresa realizes that it was written the night before Garrett's last sailing. In it, he apologizes to Catherine and says that in Theresa he has found a new love, a love he must fight for.
The producers originally planned to film on Tangier Island, Virginia, but some members of the town council objected to the drinking, cursing and sex in the movie and demanded script revisions in exchange for shooting permission, even though this turned out to be a PG-13 rated film.
Warner Bros. then tried Martha's Vineyard near Chilmark, Massachusetts, but the Chilmark Conservation Commission turned down a request to build a temporary 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) house on stilts in the dunes near Chilmark Pond.
Although the Chicago Tribune gave permission for its name and image to be used, the actual newspaper office where Theresa works, according to the film's official web site, was built inside a Los Angeles warehouse.
The fog-bound harbor near the end appears to be Rockland, Maine. NONE of the coastal scenes are the Outer Banks (the setting of the novel), which has neither rocks, bluffs, nor tall pines; nor does the Outer Banks have the roughly 40 foot tides indicated by the docks shown throughout the beginning of the film. Large tides in the Carolinas are 10 feet and that is extreme.
- Kevin Costner as Garret Blake
- Robin Wright as Theresa Osborne
- Paul Newman as Dodge Blake
- Susan Brightbill as Catherine Land Blake
- John Savage as Johnny Land
- Illeana Douglas as Lina Paul
- Robbie Coltrane as Charlie Toschi
- Jesse James as Jason Osborne
- Bethel Leslie as Marta Land
- Tom Aldredge as Hank Land
- Hayden Panettiere as girl on a sinking boat
- Boats in the film include a 40 John Alden-design gaff-rigged ketch in the beginning and a smaller wooden sloop Garrett "launches" near the end; the large ketch is not a sail configuration often seen off the Carolina coast, which leans toward sloops.
The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 32% based on 38 reviews. Costner's performance in this film as well as For Love of the Game earned him a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actor, where he lost to Adam Sandler for Big Daddy.
Message in a Bottle opened at #1 on the Valentine Day's weekend of 1999 with an estimated $16.7 million. It grossed $52.8 million domestically with an additional $66 million overseas to a total of $118.8 million worldwide.
- Message in a Bottle
- Message in a Bottle at the Internet Movie Database
- Message in a Bottle at AllMovie
- Message in a Bottle at Rotten Tomatoes