Message in a Bottle

Kevin Costner

Directed by Luis Mandoki
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
February 27, 2001

Based on the best-selling weepie by Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle is a hazard to all those allergic to ponderous chick flicks. Kevin Costner stars as the romantically sullen Garret Blake, a boat builder in North Carolina who writes love notes, shoves them in a bottle and sends them out to sea, where his dead wife will maybe get the message that he's lost without her. "You are my true north," he writes. The lovely Robin Wright Penn plays divorced mother Theresa Osborne, a researcher at the Chicago Tribune, She finds a message, gets it published and sets out to locate Garret in the name of all women who want to be true north to the right guy. It's love with tragic complications, and director Luis Mandoki drags the torture out for two-plus hours. As Garret's cranky dad, Paul Newman, 74, offers the only sly comic relief from the spray of schmaltz. Otherwise, take this Bottle and sink it.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »