Friday, August 10, 2012

The Lake House (2006) [PG] ****

It's March, and physician Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) is leaving the lake house she's rented, and moving to Chicago to be close to her hospital job. She leaves a note in the mailbox with her forwarding address, and it's found by architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves), who's bought the lake house to renovate - it had originally been built by his architect father twenty years earlier.

Mystified by the contents of Kate's letter, Alex begins to correspond with her through the mailbox; they discover that they are separated not by space, but by time; Alex lives in 2004, and Kate lives in 2006. As they continue to correspond they begin to fall in love with one another. In a poignant scene, Alex appears at Kate's birthday party in the autumn of 2004, six months after they've begun to correspond in his time, but a year and a half before she's become aware of his existence.

Having grown to care deeply for Kate, Alex searches for a way to connect with her physically, to tell her who he is and how he feels about her, knowing that he risks destroying their relationship before it blossoms. Time passes, and through their letters they fall passionately in love with one another; they decide to meet at a restaurant on St. Valentine's Day, but inexplicably Alex fails to show up, and Kate, despondent, asks him not to write to her any more. Then, by chance, Kate learns the tragic reason why Alex didn't meet her, and she becomes determined to change the course of events, so they can have a second chance at life and love together.

Reeves and Bullock have wonderful romantic chemistry, the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful, and the supporting cast is terrific, especially Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Alex's younger brother Henry, Christopher Plummer as their father, celebrity architect Simon Wyler, Dylan Walsh as Kate's sometime-boyfriend Morgan, and Shohreh Aghdashloo as Kate's physician co-worker Anna. If you enjoy second-chance romances like Persuasion, and romantic dramas in which time is not linear, and the future can potentially affect the past - films like Somewhere in TimePeggy Sue Got Married and The Love Letter (1998), then you won't want to miss The Lake House. 

Labels: drama, fantasy, father-son, romance, space-time

Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 52/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=50, viewers=70)
Blu-ray

Although The Lake House is one of my favorite films, I understand that it provides an opportunity for humor, as this dialogue from The Big Bang Theory, Season 2, Episode 9 The White Asparagus Triangulation demonstrates:

[Sheldon is discussing Leonard's failed relationship with Penny]
Sheldon: So what is the down and the low, and don't worry, this is all entirely confidential, so you feel free to include any and all shortcomings in the bedroom.
Penny: We never got to the bedroom.
Sheldon: Because...?
Penny: OK, all right. You know what? I'll tell you what happened. We were young, we were very much in love, but we could only communicate through a time-traveling mailbox at my lake house.
Sheldon: It's not enough that you made me watch that movie, but now you mock me with it?!

YouTube video link to the above scene from TBBT




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