Message in a Bottle

Director: Luis Mandoki
Writer: Gerald DiPego
Warner Bros.; PG–13; 103 minutes
Cast:Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, John Savage, and Paul Newman

Certain species of whales periodically beach themselves, suiciding en mass for reasons unknown. Kevin Costner appears to be in a similar situation, although, as a land mammal, he heads seaward to drown himself and his competent talents. Robin Wright Penn plays the Chicago Tribune journalist: a divorcee who finds a love note wet with sentimentalism washed up on Cape Cod and searches for the author, hoping he'll be the man of her dreams. Costner is the bereaved boatbuilder unable to cope with his wife's death, Paul Newman plays his old-salt dad, and that's about it. Oh yeah, they equip Wright Penn with a cute young son so that Costner, already a rugged and sensitive sailor (who does his best to hide any emotion whatsoever), can further prove his mythic eligibility.