Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: February 12, 1999
6.7
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 24 Ratings
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14
Mixed:
6
Negative:
4
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JackP.Aug 19, 2007
Cinematography was great; music above average; Newman turns in another piece of work for his by now bulging portfolio. Costner remains predictable, Wright Penn lies a Barby doll personal and career life. Storyline fraught with incongruities. Cinematography was great; music above average; Newman turns in another piece of work for his by now bulging portfolio. Costner remains predictable, Wright Penn lies a Barby doll personal and career life. Storyline fraught with incongruities. One must willingly suspend disbelief at a level unparalleled by all but science fiction. Catherine was dying of a treatable disease of pregnancy, probably pre-eclampsia. Didn't anyone in the story ever figure out that possibility? And what experienced seaman, looking to a future with his new love, would sail into a storm to say goodbye to his past? And what were the odds that one day after the first letter was published in Chicago, someone would tie it to a letter in a restaurant in the Outerbanks based only on the stationery (remember, the third letter didn't have Catherine's name, and the article in the paper didn't publish the actual letter with the graphic, and even if it did, how many people read the Chicago Trib on the Outer Banks. And even if they do, they must have one hell of a circulation department to get that kind of delivery pre-Web.) And talk about meteoric career rises...one article and Wright Penn is in a corner office. But at least with the ending the story had, politically correctly Costner didn't renounce his simple natural life, nor did she have to renounce her successful career. Deus ex machina, Foley be thy name... At least when Costner's character said that cooking a steak was the best thing he did, that was believable acting. But to compare this film to The English Patient, as some have done, is absurd. The English Patient had some subtlety and was not full of contradictions. The same is emphatically not true of Message in a Bottle. Message in a Bottle is "Sleepless in Seattle with a Sailboat", but in the end it turns out to be the Clorox version of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" meets "Pay it Forward". Expand
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2
papermandaDec 15, 2015
At the end you will say, "give me a break". There is no need to end a story this way, if the rest of it didn't blow you away emotionally - and it didn't.
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