Message in a Bottle (1999)

Typical of most for pleasure novels / films, these characters lead romantic and hard-to-come-by careers: sailboat maker and writer. Fortunately for the critical viewer, these characters do portray mostly human traits. Costner has a bit of a temper and Wright Penn is hesitant in stating both her feelings and some truths (though this is her only flaw . . .).

We are guided through a long distance romance involving a devastated widower and an incredulous divorcée. As unlikely as the plot unfolds, we again have some straws to grasp as we slide down what we believe to be an inevitable end. First off, neither are looking for a relationship and secondly, there is plenty of stumbling. Paul Newman has a great act as the recovering alcoholic dad to Costner.

The theme of releasing what we once held dear in order to embrace a new dear because either death or rejection makes it impossible to continue living in the past dominates this film. We come out enlightened to the fact that life can really not go on as long as we cling to impossibilities in our lives or let our lives depend on people that don't depend on us. There is a salvation question here: what ultimately can save us?

The film did make my eyes roll a few times, again because of some of the ridiculous plot turns. The ending just makes me shake my head in wonder and while I understand its purpose, I can not acknowledge its value.

Official Site | IMDB

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