User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Interesting premise, down-to-Earth characters, subtle but engaging performances.
Cons:Extraneous side-stories, may not delve as deeply as some would like.
The Bottom Line: The Lake House would be one of those "Mom Movies" if I had been born 10 years later.
It's kind of a drag when you get to that point in your life where you realize you really have given up on love. It's even more of a drag when you realize that it didn't just happen overnight, but has been happening for over a year. But the biggest drag of 'em all is that an otherwise wondrous film such as The Lake House is what makes you realize it. Yeah, I'd love some cheese to go with that.
Recommend this product?
A pairing such as Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves may seem like so much eye candy upon first glance, but I think you'd be surprised how well they bring this crazy little love story to life.
In a nutshell, it goes something like this. Alex (Reeves) is the architect who came up with the design for the Lake House. Kate (Bullock) lived there for a while, and at the time of the film's start, is vacating. She leaves Alex (who we think moved in after her) a letter asking him to forward her mail... but as far as Alex knows, no one has ever lived in the lake house. Why? 'Cause he's two years behind her. I'm dead serious.
Being a total sucker for time travel, I couldn't possibly pass this one up. Frequency had a similar concept to its story -- it wasn't actual people doing the time traveling; it was information.
What surprised me the most about Lake House was how subtle the whole "time" aspect was put into place. Normally, if you get involved with someone in the past, you run the risk of rearranging it, changing your own memories, stunting events or setting someone on an entirely new path. There isn't much of that here at all. Intense dramatics are reserved until the very end, at which point I'm certain I wasn't the only one scratching my head a little bit.
A lot of the film's greatest moments are, strangely enough, the most cliche'd ones. Our two lovers communicate by letters through some sort of interdimensional mailbox, but their words come to us by way of voice-overs. And ya know what? Groundhog Day didn't need to "explain" the magic when all was said and done. Neither does The Lake House.
Keanu and Sandra share remarkable chemistry, even when they're nowhere near each other onscreen. When I think back to Keanu's over-the-topness in Sweet November, and his (necessary) wooden-ness in the Matrix Trilogy, I don't know, I feel like I've gotta hand it to the guy today. He pulls this one off with total finesse.
Sandra tones down on the perk-o-meter as well, and the short hairdo does wonders for her. Not that she looked bad with long hair, but now she's... almost like something out of an anime cartoon. Without the overt perk and all.
There are a couple of throwaway subplots involving Keanu's strained relationship with his father, as well as Sandra's career moves. But fortunately, those are very minor scenes that come and go quickly enough to get back to the good stuff like Keanu "taking" Miss Future on a walk or planting trees at her new place so that they just kind of "pop up" one day where she is.
The biggest drawback, or should I say the only one worth mentioning, is that actions speak louder than words. The Lake House is a whole lot of words. I wouldn't have minded 10 more minutes of the two characters "experimenting" with this strange new trick they have found. Even though they do indeed get shocked by the phenomenon, they don't stay shocked for nearly long enough. It all gets too comfortable too soon. Many of the secondary characters either never get so much as a clue, or have too easy of a time believing what is happening.
One other little thing, the dog really should have been there during the final scene, seeing as how he had such a large "part" in connecting the two.
While The Lake House could have spun the premise on a much grander scale, some might say it's all the better for the film that it doesn't. All it is is a cute little love story, mayhap that's all it need be.
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Movie Mood: Date Movie
Viewing Method: Studio Screening/Premiere
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Pacing