Message in a Bottle

Film , Comedy
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Lovelorn researcher Theresa (Wright Penn), a columnist's assistant on a Chicago newspaper, thinks she's found the man of her dreams when she reads a letter washed up on the shore, addressed to a Catherine and written in such heart-melting prose she instantly wants to track down the author. Thanks to her paper's best efforts, she homes in on the Carolina coast, where a fishing town delivers up its secret - Costner, softly-spoken shipwright and widower. Wright Penn ploughs a furrow of vulnerable earnestness, Costner delivers another quiet romantic, the screenplay tries to keep their relationship grounded in mutual need and lends it a modicum of credibility. It plays, up to a point. Best try and ignore Gabriel Yared's melisma of mush on the soundtrack, and enjoy Newman's masterclass in scene stealing. Clipped and wise, the old boy does ornery to perfection.

Release details

Duration: 131 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Luis Mandoki
Screenwriter: Gerald DiPego
Cast: Illeana Douglas
Tom Aldredge
Jesse James
Paul Newman
Robbie Coltrane
Robin Wright Penn
John Savage
Bethel Leslie
Kevin Costner
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