The Lake House

A Film Review By Jeff Fro

Starring: Keanau Reeves, Sandra Bullock
Directed By: Alejandro Agresti
Rated: PG-13 For mild thematic elements
Review Posted: June 20th 2006

Final Grade:

There is a scene towards the beginning of the film where a tragic accident happens. Sandra Bullock’s character is a doctor and she is on the scene when a bus hits a pedestrian. Unfortunately the man dies.

Then the film leaves that event and moves into some hokey romantic lullaby about two hopelessly single people who live in the same lake house two years apart. Through some postal magic that is never clearly explained, they can communicate through time. Keanu plays the person in 2004. He moved into the lake house to symbolically repair his relationship with his distant architect father. See, the father designed the lake house and then I guess abandoned it like he did his family. The father’s character is a real ass which is also never really explained fully.

Sandra Bullock is the doctor in 2006. All lonely and depressed because she can not find a man, she takes a job at a Chicago hospital. She makes regular trips to the lake house, I guess to check her “magic mail”.

About this “magic mailbox”…..if this happened to anyone at all, you would want details from the future, right? Who wins the Superbowl? Who wins the World Series? What are the Powerball numbers for this Friday?

Well, in this reality the people have no need for greed. They just want companionship. They want to be understood. They seek contact with another human so badly that they will settle for a long distance relationship that spans the time/space continuum. They are so self concerned that all else does not matter. It makes all of the characters a little unforgiving. I think we are supposed to like these people, but I doubt that I would in real life.

And also, they accept that this “magic mailbox” is actually possible with very little excitement or reaction. Sure they are a little surprised at first and believe someone might be playing a trick on them…..but within one scene they reject all of that and continue on as if getting mail from someone two years in the future is the most natural thing ever.

Sandra’s character gets shafted by this though since she is the one in 2006 and Keanu can not give her future details, he can tell her only what happened in the past. But he can do things in the past that change her present, which consists of graffiti and creative landscaping. Who the hell are these people?

Sandra Bullock’s character can send information back to Keanu that will change the future. But the consequences of those actions is never considered. “Back To The Future” had more of a consciousness about it’s plausibility than this movie.

It’s almost not necessary to get details from the future in this film. The film maker telegraphs everything that is going to happen well before it happens. Then he takes ten minutes to show you just what we already knew would occur. The characters are not smart enough to pick up on these elements naturally, so we are stuck watching them learn what we already know.

Finally, you now can learn what I already know……The Lake House is bad, boring and so illogical that you could (literally) drive a bus right through the continuity holes. I only wish I knew someone from 2008 who could have sent me some “magic mail” to warn me to avoid this mess, but by 2008 everyone will have forgotten, hopefully.

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