“Lake” Love Story Satisfies

by Ian T. McFarland on February 10, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: The Lake House
  • IMDB: link

the-lake-house-posterI’m not sure if America needed to revisit the casting of Speed in the form of a romance-heavy romantic comedy, but nevertheless The Lake House is at your local cineplex.  And even though the commercials showcase a plot so ridiculous only Uwe Boll wouldn’t question it, the film is able to win over the female demographic with ease.  Even if they have a hard time admitting enjoying a chick flick, the guys just might find themselves rooting for a final scene shows Neo and Ms. Congeniality locking lips.

As the film begins, we meet Sandra Bullock moving out into the city, lonely with no one to talk to except her dog.  She might be cute if she weren’t dull, depressing, dead inside . . . but enough with the alliteration.

We also see Keanu Reeves moving into the same lake house Bullock just left, carrying baggage like clothes, furniture and a complicated relationship with his father (Christopher Plummer) that will eventually flesh itself out.

But then something out of a cheese-ball-Rom-Com happens – the story flips to reveal that Reeves’ character is living two years ago.  Furthermore, the mailbox outside of the aforementioned lake house works like a tiny time machine that delivers messages from one party to the other.  And so they write each other and, somehow, end up falling head over heels for each other.

The plot sounds ridiculous – the time portal mailbox never comes close to being explained – but it somehow doesn’t matter.  The script disposes of this factor early on in the show, and in the process allows the film to tackle its more substantive features like character development and love story for the rest of the 105 minute running time.

In the end what sets this movie apart is the time dynamic.  When ripped away, all the movie can boast is a slightly above average love story about two A-List celebrities who have one-third life crises falling for each other.  But with the chronology of the film splattered across the reels, the film is energized and helps to keep the audience interested in what happens next, how it will fit into the time line.

The film does have one major downfall – Bullock’s character.  It’s all encouraging to see a mainstream film try to take on a character that’s more introverted and quiet than Howard Hughes when he’s lost his voice; but a serious problem arises – how are we supposed to believe any guy would fall for someone who’s so unlikable?  The character never smiles and never says anything outside of stop & chat material unless she’s drinking or talking about how miserable she is.

The Lake House, when all is said and done, isn’t much more than a big-budget romance trying to take advantage of the June release The Notebook reaped a fanbase of hordes of young women from two years ago.  Still the film manages to keep this 18-year-old male’s attention the whole way through, and if it works for a guy idea of a romantic comedy is Punch-Drunk Love, then it must be successful to some degree.

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