An old-fashioned, dreamlike romance of the three-hanky variety, The Lake House reunites Speed stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, albeit in a decidedly more sedate fashion. Reeves portrays Alex Wyler, a young architect frustrated in his career and ill at ease in the shadow of his famous father (Christopher Plummer). Bullock plays lonely doctor Kate Forster, a workaholic who gives up a beautiful lakeside house, leaving a note for its new occupant -- Wyler -- in the mailbox. His response inaugurates an odd but endearing epistolary courtship. Matters are somewhat complicated, in that she writes from 2006, whereas he appears (as per the postmarks) to be writing from 2004. Argentine director Alejandro Agresti’s first American film, remaking South Korean director Hyun-seung Lee’s 2000 film Siworae (released in the U.S. on DVD as Il Mare), does not for a second concern itself with supplying a rationale for the time disparity. The Lake House is a modern-day fairy tale about the ability of kindred souls to find each other even when everything in the known world suggests any such connection is impossible. If you’re prepared to throw logic to the wind and open your heart to the charms of this unusual love story, a visit to this The Lake House is very much recommended.
Love stories seem to always be about finding the right love at the wrong time. The Lake House takes that to heart by having the protagonists fall in love with each other even though they live in different times. Well, actually they do live at the same time, and even in the same place, only two years apart from each other. They exchange letters through a magic mailbox that allows the letters they exchange to transcend time. For a film with this fantastical a concept to work, the filmmakers need to figure out a couple of aspects. First, you either have to play the fantasy element to the hilt, leaving any semblance of reality, or you have to ground the film in a very familiar world and sprinkle just enough magical realism over it all that the audience buys in to the conceit. Director Alejandro Agresti opts mostly for the former, shooting everything with a gauzy beauty, and allowing the leads, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, to look beautiful even when the characters feel miserable. One of the other hurdles that the screenplay clears is figuring out how to get the two characters to share the screen even though their individual stories transpire in different timelines. Luckily, the best scene of the movie brings the two of them face to face right in the middle of the film, and the actors smartly underplay the scene. Reeves and Bullock do have excellent chemistry together, her all-American girl-next-door appeal grounds his physical beauty, and when the two do get to be in the same place at the same time the film fulfills its goals, even if the occasionally sluggish setup might not be as gripping. The Lake House does not have the authority to make a viewer suspend disbelief, but anyone willing to shut that off on their own will enjoy it.
|Source:||Warner Home Video|
|Sound:||[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]|