The Lake House (2006)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Genres: Romance, Romantic Drama, Romantic Fantasy
A lonely doctor, who once occupied an unusual lakeside house, begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late. --IMDb
Alejandro Agresti Alejandro Agresti
Keanu Reeves Keanu Reeves
Sandra Bullock Sandra Bullock
Christopher Plummer Christopher Plummer
Ebon Moss-Bachrach Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Willeke van Ammelrooy Willeke van Ammelrooy
Movie Connections:
Il Mare
> Il Mare (2000)
> The Lake House (2006)

6.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: June 21, 2006
There just isn't anything exciting about two people living two years apart. One lives in 2004 and the other lives in 2006. So what. A twenty of even fifty year gap might have made for some interesting transitions, but two years gives us nothing but the exact same world in both situations. The only thing different is that one of the worlds can have a little less global warming and one less sequel to "Fast and the Furious". But, all that aside, the premise of "The Lake House" is rather intriguing, and director Alejandro Agresti does an interesting job with these transitions, and some artsy little numbers that I didn't expect to find here. This is not your typical romance - there are some nice visuals, some genuinely tender moments, and the perfect pacing for a film of this position. So, oddly enough, I am giving a positive review to this film. I enjoyed it far more than I ever though I would, and consider it to be one of the best romances of the past three of four years. It was nice to just sit back, relax, and watch two hours worth of passion.

Keanu Reeves stars as Alex Wyler, an architect whose father (Christopher Plummer) is one of the best in the world. Alex has moved into the family's old lake house, which is made of solid glass and rests on stilts with a tree growing in the center. Sandra Bullock stars as Kate Forster, a doctor who works at a busy Chicago medical center and is missing any kind of spark in her life. The two eventually start communicating through letters; the only problem - Reeves lives in 2004, and Bullock in 2006. Through some unknown magical vortex, the two begin communicating two years apart, setting up some nice visuals and some very nice set-ups. How they can communicate is not important. How their actions don't affect very much is not important. All that matters is their relationship with one another, how it develops, and how it concludes. I won't reveal any of that, except to say 'don't always assume you know everything'. Shohreh Aghdashloo pops up as one of Bullock's colleagues at the hospital, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Reeves' younger brother, also an architect. The supporting characters really offer very little relevance to the love story, but rather to the development of each character.

Let's just go ahead and state the obvious - the plot is preposterous. Of course, this entire idea is absurd and doesn't work in any situation, not to mention how the film doesn't even factor in how events in the past might shape events in the future. If you pay attention to those things, they will drive you crazy and you will despise the film. If you pay attention to the love story and the visuals and the pacing, then you will get sucked in and enchanted until the very end. "The Lake House" is just one of those films, very much like "The Notebook", that has this hypnotic spell about it. One of my favorite scenes comes when Keanu Reeves plants a tree outside Sandra Bullock's apartment, and then we see it suddenly appear next to Bullock as she is standing outside. Those are the visuals I am talking about - those are the neat little aspects of the film that make it more enjoyable than not. I also enjoyed a scene between Bullock and Aghdashloo, just sitting at a bar and talking about life - both play the scene so well, and it added so much texture. The same can be said for the hospital scene between Reeves and Christopher Plummer, one of the sweetest father and son scenes I have watched in a long while.

Performance wise, Sandra Bullock does nothing that she hasn't done in countless other films, from "Two Weeks Notice" to "Crash" - she is fine playing this role, it just doesn't require that much expansion for her. Keanu Reeves, on the other hand, is better than usual in "The Lake House" and really turns in a fine performance here, something that he could have just phoned in and probably still made work to a lesser degree. Christopher Plummer and Shohreh Aghdashloo are fine character actors and they work wonders for their few scenes here - scenes that could have been wasted on less expensive actors. I love watching amazing performers make the most of small roles. There really aren't any other primary actors here except for Dylan Walsh, who did play his role rather well, though it required next to nothing. "The Lake House" is carried by these performances into another level that separates it from most other disposable romances like "Tristan & Isolde" from earlier this year. "The Lake House" charms the hell out of you.

Does this mean that everyone will enjoy the film? Of course not. If you don't like romances, you should be slapped for even thinking about seeing this one. "The Lake House" is for people who enjoy tenderness and passion and those moments that bring water to your ducts - people who loved "Steel Magnolias" and "The Notebook". Don't expect the film to 'wow' you when you've never been 'wowed' by a romance before. Plus, this offers a nice alternative to the testosterone fueled Summer actions flicks and the worthless Summer comedies - it has a little more depth and a little more substance. However, you could also very easily wait for "The Lake House" to hit DVD, cuddle up with your 'special someone', and pass a couple of hours. This film is not required viewing in a theatre setting, but it would make a perfect date movie. "The Lake House" needs only fine performances and beautiful visuals to stay afloat in my movie mote.

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