Thank goodness for happy endings. I left the movie theater relieved that a moment of excitement, happiness, and warmth finally found its way into The Lake House. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are the main characters of this movie, directed by Alejandro Agresti. They play depressed and lonely characters, fed up with their daily routines. Alex (Keanu Reeves) is a frustrated architect who struggles to succeed underneath the shadow of his famous, critical father (Christopher Plummer), also an architect. Kate (Sandra Bullock) is a fatigued doctor who devotes her life to her job and to perpetuating her own unhappiness.
Both Alex and Kate live in a glass lake house in Chicago, constructed by Alex's father (Christopher Plummer), but they live in the house at different times. Keanu Reeves' character lives in 2004 and Sandra Bullock's character lives in 2006. Alex receives a letter from Kate explaining that she is the previous owner of the house and would like him to forward her mail if it fails to reach her current address. This "magic" mail box somehow connects Alex and Kate.
Alex and Kate fall in love through their letters, though they've never really met. Their letters, trite and superficial, manage to bring them both a sense of security and love. Kate treats a young girl in the hospital who shares her mother's wisdom and says, "There's always something better coming around the corner." Is there? Is pushing everyone else aside worth the wait for perfection? Sandra Bullock's character grapples with these questions as her off-and-on again boyfriend Morgan (Dylan Walsh) confuses her. He doesn't make her happy despite his devotion to her, good looks, and successful career. Alex also refuses to give his obviously interested co-worker, Mona, played by a (thankfully) jubilant Lynn Collins, any attention.
Alex and Kate both end up owning the same dog who leads Alex towards the Kate in 2004 who knows nothing of Alex or the lake house. They briefly meet at a party thrown by her boyfriend, and Kate and Alex are both gloomy and bored by the crowd. They find instant connection with each other and share a momentous kiss. Despite this, Alex is frustrated because he wants to tell Kate that in two years they will fall in love through letters, but he can't. Kate won't know him as anything but a "random hookup" until she realizes two years in the future that he's the same Alex from 2004.
Kate's (Sandra Bullock) depression overwhelmed me. Her sadness understandably stems from the death of her father, something that greatly wounded her. However, I wanted to see some kind of personality, some kind of passion or excitement in her eyes. Where was Miss Congeniality? Certainly there was no aspect of this personality in Kate. Alex (Keanu Reeves) also had no spark or apparent passion. The movie dragged along with sad faces and narrated letters which soon turned into two years apart yet simultaneous conversations.
I thought the plot line had promise; two people fall in love from different times and are connected through their letters. Unfortunately, it fell short in my eyes. The complex time changes, unreal mail box connection, and isolated, unhappy characters dragged down my mood. I wished I had popcorn to distract me.
Despite my boredom, the ending raised me from my depression and my contemplation of patience, love, and the "one." Do Alex (Keanu Reeves) and Kate (Sandra Bullock) wait for each other so they can co-exist in the same time? You'll have to endure the movie to find out. What you learn at the end will be worth it, but barely.
The Lake House
Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image. Runtime 105 min. Theatrical release 6/16/2006. C+