The Lake House - Review
Review by Jack Foley
HOPELESS romantics will probably best appreciate this intriguing romantic drama that successfully reunites Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves for the first time since Speed.
But anyone who ultimately requires the concept to make sense had better stay well away.
Reeves and Bullock play Alex Wyler and Kate Foster, respectively, an architect and a doctor who inexplicably find themselves living in the same house but separated by two years.
Against their better judgement, they begin to write to each other and develop a relationship by letter that somehow traverses time using the mail box outside their home.
But as their feelings for each other intensify, the pair resolve to meet only to find their attempts to do so constantly placing them further apart.
The Lake House is a remake of a little-known Taiwanese film called Il Mare that’s been re-imagined by Argentine director Alejandro Agresti.
For the most part, it’s an extremely engaging affair that should keep audiences guessing so long as they’re prepared to suspend their belief in the first place.
It contains a couple of neat twists and two strong performances from both Reeves and Bullock, who expertly tap into the loneliness and frustration that their surreal affair exposes. It’s good to see the latter, especially, continuing to expand on her skills as a dramatic actress.
But The Lake House ultimately fails to deliver the type of satisfactory conclusion that would have made it all the more memorable.
Instead, the director contrives to come up with a finale that merely exposes the shortcomings of the plot as a whole and which could anger as many viewers as it delights.
The big on-screen reunion of Reeves and Bullock also amounts to only a couple of scenes, which others may find similarly disappointing.
While the director’s heavy-handed use of imagery – especially in his depiction of the Lake House – often feels clumsy and unnecessary.
That said, there’s strong support from the likes of Christopher Plummer, as Reeves’ estranged father, and from Shohreh Aghdashloo, as a colleague of Bullock’s, and the film itself makes the most of some beautiful locations.
It’s just that in the final analysis, the film turns out to be as transparent as The Lake House itself – it looks impressive but its shortcomings are quickly exposed.
Running time: 98 minutes