Message in a Bottle – 1999
Directed by: Luis Mandoki
Starring: Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, Paul Newman
Screenplay by: Gerald Di Pego, Nicholas Sparks
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: February 12, 1999
Theresa Osborne works for The Chicago Tribune as a researcher (she is a former reporter). On a trip to Cape Cod, she finds a mysterious, intriguing love letter in a bottle in the sand, addressed from Garret to Catherine. She is fascinated by it and comes into possession of two more letters by the same person, eventually tracking down the man who wrote them, Garret Blake. He has refurbished a boat called Happenstence with his wife before her death and he lives quietly on the outer banks of North Carolina with his father, Dodge.
Theresa and Garret become better acquainted, but she does not reveal her knowledge of the love letters. Along with the literal distance between them — they live hundreds of miles apart—there is another problem: Garret cannot quite forgive Catherine for dying and leaving him.
Theresa’s career flourishes as the romantic tale of the “messages in a bottle” is told in print, without naming names. Garret makes a trip to Chicago to visit Theresa and her young son. Their new love grows, until one day Garret finds his letters in a drawer in Theresa’s apartment. Garret angrily goes home by himself.
A year later, Dodge tracks down Theresa. He informs her that his son Garret has died at sea in a storm while attempting to rescue someone else. A bottle with a message inside was found on his boat. Theresa realizes that it was written a night before Garrett’s last sailing. In it, he apologizes to Catherine and says that in Theresa he has found a new love, a love he must fight for.