The Lake House

Something happens at the beginning of The Lake House that filmmaker want people to think is a throwaway moment. Nevertheless, for astute moviegoers, this scene will help explain a big problem later in the film. Stuff like this happens after watching too many movies. Does it ruin the film? Not really. The Lake House, based on the Korean film Il Mare, is a concept film that would probably work better as a short film. As a full-length feature film, The Lake House runs out of steam, and relies on some shortcuts in order to tell its story, the relationship between two people living two years apart. Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock, Miss Congeniality 2, Crash) moves out of a beautiful house on the lake near Chicago. She leaves a letter for its next inhabitant, who happens to be Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves, Constantine, Thumbsucker).

Wyler is a bit confused. Nobody has lived in the house for years, yet Forster claims she just left. There are a few other strange inconsistencies. The two correspond, and soon discover that they are living two years apart. The concept is both a bit frightening and exciting. As the two continue to write to each other, they begin falling in love. But how can they be together when they live two years apart? Logic is not a strong point for director Alejandro Agresti (Valentin, A Less Bad World) and adapter David Auburn (Proof). They are more concerned with the relationship between the two. They connect in a very unique way that the filmmakers want to convey to the audience.

Examine the movie closer, and things do not make much sense at all. The idea sags under its own weight, as the two try to meet each other physically, and The Lake House slowly begins to defy logic. But it's about their relationship! Okay...that's fine too. But Agresti and Auburn take some shortcuts which may cause unintentional laughs. It is extremely difficult to make a film where the two main characters correspond by letter. To skirt around this, Bullock and Reeves frequently read their letters aloud while they write them. Agresti also places them in the same locations, and with a small camera trick, it looks like they are speaking with each other. Then, things fall apart. The letters turn into conversations, and a few times the two talk to each other, as if they are writing to each other. Forster says a few sentences, and Wyler responds. Is this being a bit picky? Not really, because the effect is really distracting.

The house is gorgeous, and Reeves and Bullock are fine. Their roles do not require that much from them - they have to read aloud with a minimal amount of emotion. Those wishing for a Speed reunion will be disappointed. Instead, they have to deal with the two leads reading to each other, pining and whining away. Even without the little spoiler at the beginning, it's pretty obvious what is going to happen. It's just a matter of waiting for each step to happen.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 38 minutes, Rated PG for some language and a disturbing image.

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