406 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can the Future Change the Past?
If you enjoy love stories, then you should delight as much in this modern day fairy tale as my wife and I did. Sandra Bullock (one of my favorite actresses) as Dr. Kate Forster and Keanu Reeves as Alex Wyler complement each other extremely well and manage to develop a tangible chemistry despite the unique nature of their "long distance" (in time) relationship. However,...
Published on June 18, 2006 by Tucker Andersen
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Can this be happening? "
"The Lake House" is a romance in letters which is "kind of a long distance relationship" between two people that live it the parallel worlds separated by a span of two years and somehow connected by a time-traveling mailbox. If anything, this movie connected once again Sandra Bullock as a physician who moves out of her lakeside house to live and work in Chicago and Keanu...
Published on April 17, 2007 by Galina
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406 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can the Future Change the Past?,
If you enjoy love stories, then you should delight as much in this modern day fairy tale as my wife and I did. Sandra Bullock (one of my favorite actresses) as Dr. Kate Forster and Keanu Reeves as Alex Wyler complement each other extremely well and manage to develop a tangible chemistry despite the unique nature of their "long distance" (in time) relationship. However, you have to be prepared to suspend your usual conception of the relationship of time and place and accept unconditionally the truly unusual and scientifically fictional aspects of the storyline. This film is about emotions, interpersonal relationships and personal discovery, and needs to be engaged with your heart, not your mind.
CAUTION: it was obvious from the comments of other moviegoers who watched the film with us that our enthusiasm was not universally shared. Perhaps understandably given several of Sandra's Bullock's previous films, some people obviously expected to see a typical romantic comedy, which this most definitely is not despite some truly funny sequences. Others seemed to be unable to let go of their attempt to rationally analyze the techniques which the story utilized to further the relationship between Kate and Alex; this trait led to their inability simply to accept the facts as the writer and producer chose to present them in furtherance of the story and thus distracted from the essence of the film, which is the development of the central characters' relationship and the mystery of how the story will conclude. And finally, a few seemed bewildered that anyone would find such a ridiculous story appealing and frustrated that they had wasted almost two hours of their time watching it.
As the film begins, Kate and her female dog Jack are ending their tenancy at an architecturally unique LAKE HOUSE and moving into a modern new apartment in downtown Chicago near the hospital where she is on staff. She leaves a note in the mailbox for the next tenant, which Alex finds when he moves into the house. Thus, very early in the film, the four main actors in this drama have already been introduced - Kate, Alex, Jack, and THE LAKE HOUSE itself. However, the key plot twist of what briefly appears a rather conventional and undoubtedly otherwise pedestrian romance (which would simply be a showcase for the stars) is introduced. It is a concept familiar to science fiction fans but seldom used in other genres; specifically time shifting together with some aspects of parallel universes. Since what has happened is incidental to the story and never explained, it is not clear at any particular point in the story what rules will apply to the situations in which the characters find themselves. (N.B. This film should definitely not be included in the genre of science fiction, it involves neither time travel or futurism.)
However, when Alex replies to Kate's note and a correspondence ensues, their initial misunderstandings soon turn to disbelief when she claims to be living in 2006 and he is in 2004. What! How could she move out and he then move in? Despite their incredulity, they eventually both become convinced that their lives really have been linked through some sort of time warp. Of course, since this is a love story they then both become increasingly attracted to each other (Remember, you can't expect to understand how the intermediary device of the magic mailbox operates, just enjoy the flag waving which results.) The story is incredibly cleverly constructed, with several threads gradually coming together and increasingly causing their lives to become intertwined. THE LAKE HOUSE, a memorable edifice built on stilts and reached by a walkway over the water is reminiscent of Phillip Johnson's signature Glass House. It not only unites Alex and Kate but plays a crucial role in Alex's family history and his strained relationship with his father, the noted architect Simon Wyler (Christopher Plummer).
The enjoyment of the film is in fact heightened by its leisurely pace, the cast (and the supporting roles are uniformly well acted) has time to develop the story and let us get to know Kate and Alex as they get to know each other; thus we also experience their frustration that thyey may have to accept the fact that they will be resigned to living separate lives. The most difficult aspect of the film for me to follow was the fact that the sequence of the scenes as presented to the moviegoer was not always immediately clear. Not only are Alex and Kate simultaneously living in different years, but their individual experiences are not presented in chronological order. There are frequent flashbacks and the jumps forward to their individual present day selves, interspersed with one chance meeting of which only Alex is aware. Remember, concentrate on their story - not on trying to figure out how it is occurring. One incredibly deft touch is the use of a copy of Jane Austen's PERSUASION as both a very important point of contact in their relationship and also with the story as a metaphor for their situation.
In conclusion, if you enjoy fantasy, then you should enjoy this unconventional love story. In addition, you also get as a bonus to try to figure out how an appealing dog such as Jack could somehow live with both Kate and Alex and maybe you will even receive a few insights about architecture. Just remember to pay attention to details, because at various times during the film events occur whose complete relevance only becomes clear much later. Interestingly enough, if you do pick up these clues, while they foreshadow some of the later events (in the sequence in which the movie unfolds), they in no way make the eventual outcome predictable and thus do not spoil the story. Fun, interesting, well acted, emotionally satisfying and unpredictable enough to keep your interest - certainly a more attractive set of attributes than most of today's film fare.
194 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Love is Real, Nothing Else Matters,
"The Lake House" is a rare gem, the kind of film that Hollywood hasn't made for decades, and has more in common with the b&w classics and some foreign films (like the Korean "Il Mare" this one was based on) than any contemporary "date film." It is the well written script, and the mature and sensitive performances by its 2 leads that set it apart, as well as the many memorable, magical moments: The tree, the dance, the spray-painted inscription on the wall, to name a few. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are superb as Alex and Kate, who try to conquer time and space with their love.
I have no problem with time warps, other dimensions, the presence of angels, and that the world just might be a cosmic soup of whirling particles. Seeing is not believing, because we see through a glass darkly, and anything might be possible, even the premise of this plot, implausible as it might be. Director Alejandro Agresti deftly manages to make the complexities of the story flow, and the supporting cast is excellent, including Christopher Plummer (as Alex's famed architect father), Ebon Moss-Bacharach (Alex's brother), Willele von Ammelrooy (Kate's mother) and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Kate's workplace friend). And then there is Jack, a lovable mutt that is shared between time spaces.
I cannot think of a living actor that has had a more diverse filmography than Keanu Reeves, and "The Lake House" is by far his finest performance, in its depth, and naturalness. This is a man who looks so comfortable in his skin, in being who he is, that he adds a dimension of reality to the character of Alex. Sandra Bullock is also excellent as Kate, and both actors exude super star wattage power, and have marvelous screen chemistry with each other.
Watch this film with an open mind and a soft heart, and it will delight you. I wept through much of it, enjoyed every minute, and it is a film I will never tire of seeing.
88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reunited and It Feels So Good - 2 years too late for 2 people who found the one,
A dozen years after "Speed" ... Reeves and Bullock reunite as two destined single professionals who meet through a lake house they both lived at. Turns out both are living in the same place but two years apart and exchange letters through a magical mailbox. An American adaptation of the South Korean film "Ill Mare" from 1999, the Lake House follows the mysterious events that bring a lonely female doctor (Kate) in Chicago with a frustrated architect (Alex)in the country.
THEME: NEVER SETTLE! Only marry your true love because time is irrelevant when your twin soul is out there and you know it! The truth is ... you can physically leave your twin soul ... but they will always be a part of you.
The story begins when Kate leaves a letter in the mailbox for the new tenant to her former lake house home before departing for Chicago. When she receives a reply from Alex he claims that no one has lived in the Lake House for years. The two begin corresponding only to discover that they are living two years apart, Alex in 2004 and Kate in 2006. The movie progresses and the two eventually decide to meet but its two weeks for Kate and two years for Alex. It's a heartbreaker because if time is not on your side it is not on your side.
A series of coincidences bring keep bringing Kate and Alex together. The trick is that Kate wasn't always so open and had many missed moments with Alex. Over time they begin to share more about one another and decide to meet. Alex fails to show up at Ill Mare in Chicago and Kate forbids him to write to her again. That is until she almost marries her nice but not well suited match Morgan... and rushes to save her romance with Alex. The signs were all there... they even shared the same dog two years apart! Near misses, close encounters, and signposts to one another ... in the end it's worth the wait! It's a very Happy Valentine's Day. Unless you know that you could give your whole heart to that person despite another more suitable man or woman nearby ... don't sell out! Stay available for the one who truly makes you happy.
One to watch ... and best with the "two of you" for all the couples who are together and happy and need a reminder of what they have.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty slice of magical realism...,
*Note* Contains some mild spoilers
"The Lake House", starring long time friends Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock - working together again for the first time since "Speed" (1994) - is a story of semi-magical connection between a man and a woman which spans the width of two years. You see, Kate (Bullock) and Alex (Reeves) have both lived in the same gorgeous house made entirely of glass. Kate is moving out and leaves a letter in the mailbox wishing the next tenant good luck and enjoyment in the house, as well as a forwarding address for her mail. Through movie magic (and possibly fate), Alex - who just purchased the house - receives this letter and the two begin to correspond.
Confused at first, they soon realize they are living two years apart, Alex in 2004 and Kate in 2006. While an odd set of circumstances (and theoretically impossible), they continue to write. Both are failures when it comes to relationships and they find the letters a great chance to talk to someone of the opposite sex and not have to face rejection. Soon they fall in love but are not sure how they could ever meet to make a relationship work because of the time issues. They share a dog (too complicated to explain here) and their hearts. Attempts to meet do not work and they begin to lose hope. Can they find a way to be together? Or will this simply be another failed relationship to add to their lists?
Despite what people have been saying, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Lake House." Complex, sci-fi plot aside, it comes down to a story about how two peoples lives change when they allow themselves to connect. It's honest. Its cinematography is gorgeous and the performances are good. Keanu and Sandra have an amazing on-screen chemistry as we have witnessed before (in Speed), but here it is more mature. Sandra delivers a performance closer to her character in "Crash" (2005) and less like that of "Miss Congeniality." Kate is a charming but self-conscious and lonely woman. Keanu gives what I believe is his best performance in a movie yet! His famous slightly "wooden" acting style is perfect for the character of lonely architect Alex, and he can really become someone quite believable and open in the moments when his character is happy. While the two do not share much direct on-screen time, that serves to make the moments they do share it SO desirable. The viewer longs to see Alex and Kate meet face to face and for this relationship to work out for them. Especially delightful, were the voiceovers (of the letter reading and writing) which filled the movie as other things happened. It was a clever way to keep them from always sitting at a desk and brightened the tone of the film overall.
Forget thinking about how all the time travel works, that's not the important part. The important point of this movie is the relationship between these two people. The magic of the time transcending mailbox only serves to bring them together, but so do many other things in their lives (as we come to find out). It gives the viewer hope that maybe they are destined for love like this - maybe not with the assistance of a post office receptacle - but fated in some way to meet that one person for them.
"The Lake House" is a touching film, free of all the hustle and bustle of modern American cinema and culture in general. There's no emailing, just good old-fashioned letter writing. It's a throwback to the real movies - before we forgot how to make them - before we forgot that a movie is about the people in it and not about sex, drugs and rock and roll. "The Lake House" is a beautiful film and you should really go see it. Don't go in expecting it to all make sense, but go in with an open heart and open eyes and let it win you over. Critics have gone to theatres with their arms crossed and their minds made up already. Take a lesson from Alex and Kate, open your heart and see what happens.
Ebert said he enjoyed the film quite a lot despite it's complicating plot and Roeper called it one of his favorite movies of 2006! Ebert and Roeper (two of the most respected movie critics in the biz) can't both be wrong!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reeves and Bullock ace it again,
Im convinced those who gave this a low rating dont have a romantic bone in their body and also dont care for sci-fi. This is a movie to enjoy and cherish. Many strings have to be pulled together to make this time gap work. One thing for sure wether you love this movie or not if you see it you will be talking about it as you leave the theater. I for one loved it and cant wait for it be released. Im surprised they didnt hold onto it longer at theaters. The proof of its popularity is at the end of its run when its shown at the dollar theaters. I saw it at least 3times at the cheap shows and every time it was packed to the gills and that is something you dont see at the dollar shows. I dont consider this a chick flick, you will have to see it to believe it. It has a sense of wonder ,has funny parts, serious and it ties it all together beautifully. My favorite show of the year and Im not alone in that fact. I saw it at least 4 times and kept telling myself this time the tears wont fall, but I just couldnt help myself. Love and hope are still strong.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best love story of 2006!!!,
I'm not going into the plot of The Lake House. Other reviewers have already done a much better job on that than I can. What I will say is that I've watched this movie on DVD at least eight times since I bought it, and the story line and acting still hold up magnificently for me. What shifts this film from being a good love story to a great love story is the ending. I didn't see it coming, though friends of mine said that they did. The first time that I saw the ending, it hit me with a powerful emotional punch that left me breathless and my eyes full of tears. That made this movie a winner in my opinion. Like many of the other reviewers, I feel that Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock have the right chemistry with each other, and it was wonderful seeing them together again. I would highly recommned this film to any individual who enjoyed The Notebook, Message In a Bottle, The Horse Whisperer, and The Bridges of Madison County. Though the writers of the film used a two-year span of time between the main characters and their relationship with each other, it's still a movie about finding that one person you can love with all of your heart. Good stuff!!!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Can this be happening? ",
"The Lake House" is a romance in letters which is "kind of a long distance relationship" between two people that live it the parallel worlds separated by a span of two years and somehow connected by a time-traveling mailbox. If anything, this movie connected once again Sandra Bullock as a physician who moves out of her lakeside house to live and work in Chicago and Keanu Reeves, an architect, who lives in the house right now (the concept of "right now" plays an important role in the movie). Two begin to communicate via letters left in the mailbox and suddenly realize that they are as far away from each other as 2004 and 2006 are. If you watch the movie in the right mood with the right person, you could think of it as a sweet, moving picture about longing, about getting close to someone whom you may never see but not be able to get them out of your mind, and who become to you more real than anything you've ever known. You will see the gentle and intimate site of Chicago that you did not know even existed. You will be moved and entertained...If you are not in the right mood, you'd begin looking for the logical faults and plentiful holes in the plot and you would say scornfully, "another chick flick with Keanu as a romantic hero" - so, it is up to you.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Chance,
"Lake House" didn't do well in the theaters, and that doesn't surprise me.
I saw the movie at my sister's house last Thanksgiving, and bought it just recently. Here's the theory: The Keanu Reeves (Alex) character is killed crossing a city street in the beginning of the movie while the Sandra Bullock character (Kate) is sitting on a bench with her mother in the square, and she sees it happen. Maybe he saw from her across the street and was intrigued; maybe he had seen her somewhere before and wanted to talk to her. It's Valentine's Day 2006. After that, Alex starts communicating with her from "heaven," with the help of God or a Guardian Angel disguised as a dog named Jack. (Jack is both of their dogs, and Jack seems to know everything). Kate then starts writing to Alex two years in the past, and the whole episode of letter exchanges "across time" from beginning to end is a process of changing history, a "second chance" for both of them.
The thing that intrigued me about "Lake House" was that at first I didn't really understand what was going on; and then I realized that it all made sense (given the premise that time travel is possible) once you realize that he got killed in the beginning of the movie in a traffic accident, and right after that she gets an answer back from him from the past in her mailbox. This is a time travel movie, but strictly speaking it is not sci-fi, maybe the genre should be called "romantic mysticism."
Alex can't show up at the restaurant where he made a reservation for them to meet two years in advance because he is dead. For the same reason, he can't call her on the phone at the appointed time that she gives in another letter. When he meets her earlier (in 2004) at Kate's boyfriend Morgan's party, and when he picks up her lost book at the train station, we can assume that these are also changed history episodes that didn't really happen the first time around. (Then again we might assume that they did happen.) Also when he plants the trees in front of the big apartment building where she lives in 2006, history is changed and the full-grown trees suddenly appear. At the end of the story when she writes to tell him not to cross the street on Valentine's day 2006, the main history changing event takes place and they can finally meet in 2008 with each knowing who each other is.
I gave away the "plot" because this is the kind of movie you can enjoy much more once you know what's going on.
Good time travel movie.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie I have seen all year,
This review is from: The Lake House (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)
At first I wasn't going to see this movie. It sounded stupid and I couldn't see how they would make it work. I was in for a pleasant surprise when I went to see the movie. The 2 year gap was done perfectly and I love the chemistry between Reeves and Bullock. I loved it so much that I couldn't wait to see it again but unfortunately it was already gone from movie theaters. Now, I have been waiting for it to come out on DVD so I can own it and watch it whenever I feel like it. Much better than other chick flicks of the year like "The Break Up" or "Failure to Launch". They pale in comparison to "The Lake House".
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You've Got Mail" at the lakehouse,
I originally thought that the premise of this movie seemed a little corny but to my surprise I really enjoyed this movie. The premise does play out well and I found myself thouroughly engaged throughout. Keanu and Sandra have great chemistry both together and apart (Yes, I should have remembered that from "Speed").
Go see it if you want to see a great love story.
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