Message in a Bottle

Stars: Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, Paul Newman

Go to this movie. Go to this movie with a beloved friend. Watch movie carefully. Enjoy movie!

I really liked the feel of this film: from the luscious comforting scenery, the swells of the ocean, the salty tinge in the air to the cozy cabin on the water. The story is about a woman who finds a letter in a bottle, written by a man who obviously lost the one true love of his life. She goes on a quest to find this man and eventually does in the outer banks of North Carolina where she commences to fall deeply in love with him. He restores boats and is tied to the sea as much as to his little safe community. Kevin Costner is probably the most charming actor on the screen today. He oozes likeability, good looks and ease in such a role and is a pleasure to watch. This is his type of movie from start to finish. His co-star Robin Wright Penn (the former “Princess Bride” is terrific: each emotion is true and we care deeply about the two of them. Paul Newman lends humor and gusto playing Costner’s rough and tumble Dad.

I know other critics were terribly bothered by the deliberate pull on the heart strings that this film evokes, but frankly, as wrapped up as I was in it, and considering how easily I tend to cry in films anyway, I was not as affected as I expected to be in that vein. Perhaps those critics were wrong! Perhaps it was because I felt myself smiling widely through most of the film, enjoying the company of the characters and their sometimes awkward, most-of-the-time, easy, growing relationship. I’m not sure.

On a technical note, I thought the film a tad long. Most of them are these days, but not so long as to annoy me. When the film’s locale shifted to Chicago (cold, wet and mostly dark) where Wright Penn’s character fared, I felt stifled and ill at ease as I imagined Costner’s character should have been. But he was fine.

Lotta says:  All in all, it’s a film worth your time. But if you have not a romantic bone in your body, then don’t bother. Lotta gives this one a large red heart filled with chocolates.