4. Message in a Bottle
Sleepless in Seattle, Outer Banks Style. Theresa (Robin Wright) is a researcher for the Chicago Tribune who comes across a–yes–message in a bottle while on vacation in Cape Cod. Being human, the contents intrigue her and she soon finds herself enamored with the words of a lovelorn man writing to his Catherine. The story makes it way to the front page and she travels to North Carolina in hope of finding him. Annie Reed, anyone? Of course they meet, of course they fall in love and of course she doesn’t tell him she’s been publicizing his heartbroken prose for all to see. Turns out Garret (Kevin Costner) hasn’t forgiven himself for not being able to save his wife from death years before. He attempts to make peace with this when he realizes he loves Theresa, but dies during a storm off the coast. This leaves Theresa to grieve on the beach with his last words and later resign herself to Midwestern life in the comfort only a slightly bigger office. The first of the Sparks film adaptations has the advantage of not feeling like it came from an Emotion Generator, and features G.O.A.T Paul Newman as Garret’s wily father.