The Lake House (2006)

Rated PG. Our ratings: V- 0; L – 3 ; S/N – 2. Running time: 1 hour 48 min.

Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
or a young stag upon the mountains of spices.
Song of Solomon 8:14

The Lake House

Based on a Korean film, this summer romantic fantasy will please those who knowlingly keep their Kleenex packets close at hand when they go to a romantic movie. Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) is an unhappy architect who lives in a largely glass lake house near Chicago that later (or is it before?) an overly busy doctor, Kate Forester (Sandra Bullock) moves into—and before long the two are communicating by means of letters deposited in the mail box. Only this is not just any mailbox. Somehow it allows these two people who are living two years apart—she in 2006 and he in 2004— to exchange letters as if they had written them on the same day. The two, at first mystified, try to figure out what is going on, and then how they can get together.

A subplot is the estrangement between Alex and his father Simon Wyler (Christopher Plummer), a world famous architect who designed the Lake House. It seems that Alex cannot forgive the older man for his neglect of his mother during her dying days. One of the most interesting scenes in the film is a reconciliation and discussion the two have in the hospital to which Simon is committed following a heart attack. They talk about architecture and light, making this for me the highpoint of the film. Although largely succeeding in its task of making us anxious as to whether the lovers will ever be able to get together, the film would have been considerably improved if its makers had been willing to bring it to a close five minutes or so before the actual ending. This might have made the audience unhappy, but it would have made for a better film.