The Lake House (2006)

Keanu Reeves (Alex), Sandra Bullock (Kate), Shohreh Aghdashloo (Anna), Christopher Plummer (Simon)

Directed by Alejandro Agresti

From IMDB: "A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late."

Sigh. I loved Speed. Really. I adore Sandra Bullock, and I bear the cross of a grudging interest in Keanu Reeves. The prospect of their on-screen reunion pulled me to this film, even though the time travel premise promised -- and delivered -- plot inconsistencies. Dude! If you fall in love with a mystery man from two years in the past, write a simple and direct letter to ask for his social security number. If all else fails, google him.

Stupid. Stupid. And the big misunderstanding was worthy of the worst sort of genre romance contrivance. The resolution would have entailed the abovementioned SS# or google search. That's it. Instead, she spends two years of her life with schmucky lawyer ex-boyfriend. I understand the attempt to have The Lake House mirror Persuasion, which they mention quite often, but the reasons for their being apart are ridiculous.

But even the most contrived plot can be saved by fantastic performances and nuanced directing. Alas, that is not the case here. Bullock apparently decided to repeat her "they took me seriously" performance in Crash, playing Kate as a dour, joyless woman. Is she in love with Alex? Who can tell? Her persona did not change upon corresponding with him. Only at the end, when she cries, did I feel a glimmer of her passion, and that's because I am reflexively trained to cry whenever Bullock, Samantha Morton, and Natalie Portman do.

And Keanu... poor guy. Too many words. Reading letters by voice-over did not help his customary wooden, stilted delivery. Shohreh Aghdashloo was a pleasant surprise, but nothing else popped with the cute, sparky passion Reeves and Bullock displayed in Speed. Color me disappointed.


Fang Bastardson said...

Keanu Reeeves reading letters by voice-over... I've heard enough. Thanks for the warning!

Kate R said...

off this topic, but on the one below way below. The DearAuthor people reminded me of another author you ought to read: Judith Merkle Riley