In 1994, Reeves and Bullock starred
together in Speed, one of the biggest action hits of the
decade. Twelve years later, they reunite for the first time in something,
well… quite different.
The Lake House is mostly a little romantic drama mixed
with some science fiction/fantasy elements. Kate (Bullock) is a
melancholy doctor who is moving out of her quaint glass lake house.
Alex (Reeves) is an architect who is just moving in. Alex gets Bullock’s
welcome note. So what’s the catch in this high concept taken
from the Korean film, Siworae? Well, the problem is that
Kate moved out and left the letter in 2006, while Alex moves in
and gets the letter in… 2004.
Confused yet? Well it’s not as confusing when you see the
picture… I think. Just work with me here for a bit.
Alex, of course, is somewhat puzzled about this, so he writes
Kate a note back. Kate, who likes to go back to the lake house to
clear her head, finds the reply in the mail box and replies back
to Alex. Through this strange temporal disturbance, they find a
connection and fall in love. They continue as pen pals or long distance
lovers, save for the fact that instead of being far apart via distance,
one person is already two years in the future of the other. Or… I don’t know, thinking about time travel and paradoxes
gives me a headache like you wouldn’t believe. I’m not
a quantum physics major!
The main issue concerns a fairly big plot twist in the movie, not
the aforementioned temporal/time travel concept. And the movie ridiculously
reveals it after five minutes. It seems the filmmakers gave it away
without actually knowing it. I can only assume that audiences are
NOT supposed to know this outcome, yet later on it feels like the
filmmakers are so blatantly calling attention to it. And when the
twist does turn out to be exactly what you knew it was after watching
five minutes of the film, the result is a deflated movie. It all
leads to a pretty un-suspenseful, shriveled third act with an even
more souring ending.
Reeves and Bullock do little to inspire me here, but they do have
some moments. I didn’t feel the seemingly profound connection
they had with each other through the letters. The editing of these
literary exchanges is externalized through voice-over or actually
mixing Kate and Alex in the frame together in their separate years.
The written exchanges played off more as if they were speaking on
the phone or instant messaging each other, not speaking to each
other through letters.
I found Reeves’ relationship with his estranged father (Plummer),
a stuffy and miserly architect (who actually built the titular lake
house), a more compelling relationship, albeit cinematically derivative.
Aghdashloo plays Anna, Kate’s colleague
and supervisor, who also moonlights as the movie’s sparse
comic relief. I find Aghdashloo’s dark profile and husky voice
very charming and endearing, but the pithy comments fall flat in
this writer’s humble opinion.
Watching this movie affirms how glad I am that Constantine
most likely won’t continue as a cinematic franchise. Reeves
playing The Hellblazer once was way more than enough. (Editor's
note: The Vile One is totally, completely, irretrievably
and vilely wrong. Keanu rules. Not that, you know, I will actually
see this movie. I’m just saying…)
—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris