Reviews & Previews - The Lake House

Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 06:00 PM

The Lake House

By: S. Tran

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock
Directed By: Alejandro Agresti
Running Time: 105 minutes
Rated: Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image.

Broken Home

When Reeves and Bullock teamed up for the first time in Speed the action of that film helped distract us from the wooden delivery Reeves specializes in. Bullock's feisty character also helped propel the story along and bring energy to the screen. Unfortunately in this latest project Bullock's character is a love lorn loner who "meets" another loner searching for love, resulting in a slow paced film that is supposed to be thoughtful, but instead comes off as boring and confusing.

Reeves plays Alex who falls in love with Kate (Bullock) through a series of letters they write back and forth. Their love is frustrated by their inability to meet because somehow Kate lives two years in the future and the only way they can communicate is by leaving notes to each other at the lake house they each live in during the film. While its an interesting idea there are so many holes in the plot that it takes away from the relationship between the two leads.

If you are a fan of these kinds of movies you probably won't care too much about the deficiencies but they really distracted me as I wondered why the two couldn't figure out the obvious ways they could meet. I am also pretty annoyed at any of these time travel movies when the people never once bother asking for lottery numbers. I don't care how lonely I was, once I figured out Kate lived in the future I would have been begging her to leave me some winning numbers, love can wait.

Beyond my pet peeve around the time travel issue I've never really been a big fan of Reeves I have to admit. It puzzles me how he ever made a career as an actor. He barely registers on the screen as Alex and when forced into a quiet film like this his shortcomings as an actor are magnified as he can't hide behind out of control buses or special effects. Here he is required to carry half of the film and is completely out of his depth. Not only is he supposed to charm Bullock but he is also asked to add some depth as a son with unresolved issues with his father. This proves to be way too much for him and he muddles through the film as he has through most of his career.

While Bullock deserves some credit for attempting a change of pace as Kate, a lonely woman searching for love, she also comes off flat and uninspired. It was hard to work up any sympathy for her character as she moped around. I kept wondering if either Alex or Kate could ever be happy regardless of what happened because both seemed so beaten down by life. Normally you could root for such people but here they are both attractive, successful professionals so its hard to work up much sympathy for either one of them. The film tries to justify their sadness by offering up some back stories but these are either underdeveloped in Kate's case or overplayed in Alex's case.

This movie is strictly for the fans of Reeves and Bullock. Anyone else is going to have a hard time enjoying themselves given the slow pace, mediocre acting and plot holes.


2.5 stars out of 5.


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