At the Right Place, At the Wrong Time

I remember when “The Lake House” came out this summer. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves were promoting it in talk shows. If I remember correctly, Regis Philbin and David Letterman were having trouble grasping the gimmick of the plot. And the stars would respond vaguely, as to not divulge any surprises the movie might store. It was hilarious because the cranky hosts became even more frustrated.

Having seen the movie, I can sum up the movie for you in two words: magic mailbox. Seriously, that should’ve been the film’s title. Who cares about the lake house? There’s a MAGIC mailbox for crying out loud! Through this supernatural object, two people (in this case, the characters played by Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock) from two different years (2004 and 2006) can communicate through written missives. I know, right. E-mail is for cave men. Come on, Apple or Mircrosoft geniuses! When will the magic mailbox be available to the public?

To me, the time gimmick of “The Lake House” is both a blessing and a curse. While men of science will grow appalled by the illogical time intervention, at least, it’s what makes the movie quite unique among romance movies. The closest thing (I can think of) that it resembles to is the simpler and also time-traveling “Kate & Leopold.” But the latter plays more favorably to the female crowd. “The Lake House” may intrigue the male audience since it dicks around with time. There are puzzle pieces to fit together as the lake house residents Kate (Bullock) and Alex (Reeves) alter the past, the present, and the future.

As for the romance department, it is okay. There are scenes that produce unintentional laughs and there are moments of mushy sentiments (“She’s more real to me than anything I’ve ever known.”) Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are a good pairing though their exciting chemistry in “Speed” is not perilously running here. Instead of a falling in love in a moving vehicle, they stand or sit still and try to feel the presence of the other. Honestly, I don’t know how “The Lake House” could be better with the interesting premise it presents. It’s memorable; it’s sometimes engaging. But by the end, I was left pondering about the logic of it all instead of being impacted by the strange love magically developed. As a movie, “The Lake House” seems only good enough to pass the time.

Grade: B

Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dylan Walsh, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Christopher Plummer
Screenplay by
David Auburn
Directed by
Alejandro Agresti
Rated PG some language and a disturbing image