The Movie Binge

Review: The Lake House

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Oh when damaged beautiful people meet, them sparks do fly, don't they? But what if they can't meet? What if time and fate have another plan in store? Cruel melodrama, why must you torture our lovers so?!? Fear not devotees of tales of doomed and star crossed lovers, The Lake House won't let you down.

If you've seen the trailer you know that the premise of our story is a fantastical one and one that demands you check your frontal lobe at the concession stand. But that shouldn't be too hard in a week that saw the release of a film starring Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler and it's much less of a leap than Somewhere in Time got away with over 25 years ago (not to mention something like Kate & Leopold just a few years back).

You've got your burnt out ER doc (Sandra Bullock reveling in her grumpiness) moving into a house torn from the notebooks of Frank Gehry. And you've got your architect turned developer who can't escape his father's legacy (Keanu Reeves) moving into the very same house. You see they're actually living two years apart. Keanu's in 2004 no doubt waiting for the recently released Matrix sequels to show up on DVD while Sandy's in the present.

But wait there's more. Thanks to a magical mailbox these two have struck up a correspondence and burgeoning love affair that defies the laws of time and space. Not quite getting it? Don't worry. You couldn't possibly be more confused than Regis Philbin was the other day when Keanu was trying to explain it to him.

The truth is it all works in an effective way. Our leads deliver two engaging and relatively authentic feeling performances and they even share a nice chemistry thanks to more scenes than you might expect of the two sharing the screen. Kudos as always to the never fail acting lion that is Christopher Plummer as Reeves' dad, a self-obessed architectual luminary who gets to shine in a couple scenes. Why Plummer doesn't get offered the roles that Anthony Hopkins can't get to is beyond me.

The Lake House is an adult summer romance, a beach read of a film that doesn't make you feel stupid on the way out and that's just about the best you could hope for something like this, isn't it? Sure the third act twist is telegraphed a long way away but that won't matter as you're enjoying the silly conceits and clever plot turns in innumerable viewings on TNT and Lifetime in the years to come.

Comments

I haven't seen it yet but I would definitely call the house more Philip Johnson than Gehry. I absolutely love "a beach read of a film" ... hands down new favorite critic quote.

i knew my ignorance about architecture would betray itself! i stand corrected.

Cinecultist mocked me for wanting to see it, but now I must because if there's anything better than a beach read, it's a beach read of a film.

usually i trust josh's taste in movie implicitely (he does love DUNE afterall) but this movie, to quote the simpsons, both sucked and blew. i found it completely incomprehensible. fyi scriptwriters: putting a "magic mailbox" into your script will not save you from creating a causally logic plot.

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