The Lake House

2006-10-13 14:28

An emotionally distant and disillusioned doctor (Sandra Bullock) has just moved into the city, and starts exchanging letters with Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves), the new occupant of the lake house where she used to live (she left a letter with a forwarding address). Gradually these turn into love letters, and then they make a startling discovery: they are living two years apart!


It's the dog. The dog is practicing some crazy voodoo mumbo-jumbo and got these two to hook up as some sort of weird pet-voodoo practical joke. At the very least, check its expression whenever it's on screen; the damn dog knows what's going on. In which case, good for him, we certainly don't.

Actually that's the cynical view. It's also the view that many critics took - attack the plot logic, which is valid, but a little beside the point. Leave any expectations of reason and sense at home, and you may just find yourself enjoying this movie for its caring and considerate treatment of romance. It's a great date movie if you're into that kind of thing.

In Speed (1994) they weren't actually a couple yet, and in this one they aren't yet either, but Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock's second outing as a screen duo works amazingly well - much better than most of Reeves' other romantic parts in fact. Bullock's surly doctor proves great counterpoint to Reeves' (slightly) more giving architect.

The film also enriches its central story with more believable subplots involving broken relationships and families. For example, Wyler sums up his father's legacy at one point by saying: "He always knew how to build a house, but never how to build a home". Speaking of whom, Christopher Plummer, playing Wyler's estranged father, saunters through his role like he did the film a favour by being in it. It actually works for the film's irritated character, and Reeves works well with him in their shared scenes.

And if style was a consideration for this adaptation of a Korean film, then The Lake House is the cinematic antithesis of Speed. One inches along delicately where the other puts the pedal through the floor, but both work exceptionally well for their purposes.

Visually The Lake House is unpretentious and solidly shot. Director Alejandro Agresti's hand is patient and mature, giving the film a polished and deliberate structure (architecture is a central plot device in the story).

The cold, wintry mood of the lake house (which is made completely of glass) reflects the distance in the space and time between the protagonists effectively. It also leaves a lot of breathing room for the characters. The pace of the film is at best languid, but its poetic dialogue and deep performances keep you well-glued to the unfolding (if fairly predictable) story.

In short the The Lake House is highly recommended romantic cinematic fare. Reeves will stun his detractors with a sincere performance, and the movie will genuinely leave you with a good feeling. It achieves its emotional ambitions, and is easily this year's best date movie so far.

- Anton Marshall
Plot craziness aside, The Lake House is likely to leave you feeling better than most other romance films this year.

nobulumko ntshebe 2006/07/19 9:49 AM
great entertainment I can't wait! the romantic side of the film does for me. THANKS!
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