In the new romantic film featuring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, two people find one another through love letters in an enchanted mailbox. Sandra’s character (Kate Forster) is a doctor who is shaken up by a death and goes to find solace in her former home at the lake. After leaving a letter for the new tenant asking him to forward her mail, she begins to find responses in the box-all dated in 2004. Her pen pal is Alex Wyler, the son of a famous architect. The two quickly develop a friendship once they realize that the time difference is not a prank. Love blossoms as they try to resolve the problem of living two years apart.
I was pleasantly surprised with Keanu Reeves’ performance as Alex. He is able to convey a depth of emotion which shows a greater connection to his acting technique as well as a connection to the deeper meaning of the film. I am sure it helped to be working with Sandra Bullock again. The chemistry between the two is believable even during moments where the plot is slightly off. As for Sandra’s performance, she brought a richness, vitality, and maturity to the film which made you sincerely want to believe in the unbelievable.
This is a movie to cuddle up to. The scenery is perfect for a love story and enhances the tender beauty of this film. You can almost see yourself at the stunning clear glass lake house which absorbs light from all round it. It is not hard to stretch your imagination to believe that the place is magical and could bring two lonely hearts together. With scenes popping back and forth between Chicago and the rustic scenery around the lake house, the director gives us a clear contrast between the characters’ every day reality and the magical energy of their love letters.
This contrast is also highlighted by the relationship of Kate and Alex to their families and co-workers. While falling in love with Kate, Alex must face the father he has run away from, an aesthetic genius who sacrificed his family to become a renowned architect. Christopher Plummer’s performance as the father, though brief, is textured with brimming emotion that makes the tension between Alex and Simon Wyler palpable. You sense a deeper connection that has been missing in Alex’s life and understand why he would give himself over to the desire to commit to an impossible romance with Kate.
In Kate’s life, there is also a sense of something missing. She wants to believe in the inevitability of love and that life has meaning, but she finds herself wondering throughout the movie if a great life is truly possible for her. There is always the concern that what is may be the best that there can be and that life is imperfect so she should just make the best of it. In the film we watch her desire to find wholeness and true love fighting against the part of her that wants to be realistic.
The Lake House is a beautiful film which asks you to suspend your belief in everyday things. At times, plot points come together effortlessly and you can float along in the dream that has so captivated Alex and Kate. At other times, small inconsistencies will come to your awareness and make you wonder at the feasibility of the film. For example, midway into the film, you no longer see Alex and Kate writing out their notes. Instead, you see them talking out the letter in front of one another though they are in the same place two years apart. In most cases, one of the characters does have a set of paper in front of him or her, but at times it seems inauthentic. Also, certain events happen in the film that make you question whether it is really possible to re-write the past or change the future.
If you are a romantic at heart, the film will certainly please and reinforce your faith in the idea that everything happens for a reason. Pervading the movie is the idea that love knows no boundaries, not even space and time. However, if you like your story lines to be very straightforward and follow a logical pattern, this film will frustrate you and you’ll leave slightly disappointed. On the whole, I really enjoyed this film. I loved the scenery, the tenderness, and the suspense. I’d rate it a 4 out of 5.