Message in a Bottle

February 12th, 1999


Message in a Bottle

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Kevin Costner as Garret BlakeSean Penn and Robin Wright at event of Message in a BottleGarret & TheresaGarret & TheresaRobin Wright Penn as Theresa Osborne

A woman discovers a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach, and is determined to track down its author.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 5.7/10 (16,033 voted)

Critic's Score: 39/100

Director: Luis Mandoki

Stars: Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, Paul Newman

A woman finds a romantic letter in a bottle washed ashore and tracks down the author, a widowed shipbuilder whose wife died tragically early. As a deep and mutual attraction blossoms, the man struggles to make peace with his past so that he can move on and find happiness.

Writers: Nicholas Sparks, Gerald Di Pego

Kevin Costner - Garret Blake
Robin Wright - Theresa Osborne (as Robin Wright Penn)
Paul Newman - Dodge Blake
John Savage - Johnny Land
Illeana Douglas - Lina Paul
Robbie Coltrane - Charlie Toschi
Jesse James - Jason Osborne
Bethel Leslie - Marta Land
Tom Aldredge - Hank Land
Viveka Davis - Alva
Raphael Sbarge - Andy
Richard Hamilton - Chet
Rosemary Murphy - Helen at the B&B
Steven Eckholdt - David Osborne
Susan Brightbill - Catherine Land Blake

Taglines: A story of love lost and found.


Official Website: Official German Site (Tobis) | Warner Bros. |

Release Date: 12 February 1999

Filming Locations: Bath, Maine, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £579,997 (UK) (25 April 1999) (285 Screens)

Gross: $52,799,004 (USA) (9 May 1999)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

When Garret arrives at Theresa's apartment, the show playing on the TV that she turns off is Perfect Strangers The two main characters in that show worked at a Chicago newspaper, just as Theresa does.

Continuity: When Garret is typing the last letter to Catherine to tell her about Theresa, the first word he types is "It". When the letter is read in voiceover, it starts out with the word "My".

[first lines]
Jason Osborne: [disembarking] Where are they?
Theresa Osborne: Um... You know, they're probably just running late, they'll be here baby.
Jason Osborne: I see 'em. Daddy! Daddy!

User Review

"Choose between yesterday and tomorrow. Pick one. Stick with it."

Rating: 8/10

While on vacation, a single mother identified as Theresa discovers a 'message in a bottle' on the shore that has moving honest words of love addressed to a woman named Catherine…

The trail leads her to a sailboat builder named Garrett and also to his father, Dodge in a small North Carolina coastal town… It turns out that Catherine is Garret's deceased wife, and the intriguing letters were written, two years earlier, after her decease…

Some people find the one true love of their lives, if they're fortunate enough… Luis Mandoki's film, in part, turns out to be a choice about what occurs when a person finds that right kind of love, then when he is faced with the impossible, and then when he is given the right to continue with his life and is brave enough to love again no matter how unpleasant his grief is…

As a reclusive widower, Garret was still in deep pain, and entirely devoted to Catherine's memory… He had hard time letting go of the past… Catherine was dead but not forgotten and was simply everywhere…

As a sailor Costner didn't inherit the charm of Newman… He was drawn to Penn by her smile, her beauty, even her mistakes…

Robin Wright Penn was beautiful, delicate and sweet as Theresa… She soon insinuates her way into Garret's life… Her expectations were always too high… Since the beginning, she just had to meet the person that wrote those letters… Her life was changed by them… Eventually when she met Garret that morning, she accepted, without hesitation, to step aboard…

Paul Newman as Dodge liked Theresa instantly… He saw in her the key to his son's emotional recovery…

With a very nice music, and a stunning coastal photography—also the ocean scenes are wonderfully taken—"Message in a Bottle" is definitely a weepy melodrama and a must see for those who believe, or don't, in love…


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