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I spend way too much time at the theaters.
I'm a slave to the Hollywood Visionaries.  God help me.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Directed by Luis Mandoki

Written by Gerald DiPego,
based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks

Starring Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn,
Paul Newman, Robbie Coltrane, Jesse James

My Advice: Wait for Cable

Rating: out of

Here we have Theresa (Penn) and she's mired deep within a sad sad life. She's just not happy. One day, as she is jogging down the beach on her vacation, she comes across....you guessed it....a message in a bottle!! I was half hoping, about an hour into the film, she would stumble on a genie in a bottle and wish for this movie to be better.

The gist of the bottle is a sappy letter to a mysterious "Catherine" from a man who wishes he could do it all once more. Theresa, in typical woman like fashion, must unravel this mystery and find this man in order, she feels, to be happy once more. I usually buy new shoes, but to each it's own.

Enter Garrett (Costner), also sad, and his father, Dodge (Newman), who...you've guessed it, is sad as well. Toss in a multitude of sad family members, to go right along with the sad plot, and you've got yourself a movie!! In fact, the only one who appears to not have been sad was Catherine. I think she was happy she got to die and be such a minor piece of this flick.

The acting seemed marginal at best. Costner plods along, once again, as the man of thought and few words or actions. Penn is passable as the soul-searching divorced mom of her son (James). The only shining star in this film is Newman, who makes the best of his fatherly role and liberally speaks his mind as the situation warrants it.

With an ending as farfetched as the premise, it's not a bad movie - good for a tear or two on those moody woman days, but don't expect much. It won't give it to you.

BUY IT

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