June 22, 2006
Campbell CA — Camera 7
How Do You Hold On To Someone You’ve Never Met? — THE LAKE HOUSE.
Man, have I gotten a lot of crap on this one. Here’s what I want to say: it could have been so much worse. It should have been so much worse. I liked it. But I’m a sap, I guess.
The plot, such that it is, revolves around Dr. Sandra Bullock, who moves out of her beloved lake house (which is made entirely of windows it seems) with her dog. She puts her forwarding information in the mailbox with a note welcoming the new owner. She used to have a type-A boyfriend and they still talk.
Then we see Keanu Reeves, who is the son of the house’s architect drive up in a beater pickup truck. Reeves is clearly a smart person who turned his back on theoretical building in order to actually build housing developments. At the work site he is pursued by a ditzy secretary. Anyway, he pulls up and opens the mailbox and finds the note that Sandra left.
Here’s the thing: Keanu is living in 2004 and Sandra left the note in 2006. If you can’t get past that one huge plot point, then don’t go. They argue through the mailbox about the date. They both end up somehow with the same dog. Keanu drives to Sandra’s apartment building to drop something off, but it hasn’t been built yet. She remembers the blizzard of 2004 and she puts a scarf in the mailbox which he puts on despite the warmth of the day and then marvels when the flakes begin to fall. She mentions missing the trees that grew at the lake house, so he plants one in front of the vacant lot that will become her apartment building.
Don’t try to figure it out. Just play along. It doesn’t suck. Both actors have matured and are no longer young hotties. They do pretty well with the material.
There is no doubt about which possible lover they should each be with. But how can they meet? The writer finds a way, even though much of the film is about them conversing without being on the same time-plane.
Just to make myself sound even more wussy, I remember a Hallmark Hall Of Fame presentation where a guy (I think Campbell Scott) goes antiquing in New England and brings home an old desk. As he’s restoring it, he finds a hidden drawer full of letters which a woman wrote to an unnamed lover. For some reason, he writes one back and hides it in the cubby hole. And she answers.
I liked that one too. I guess I’m a sucker.
***^ Roger Ebert (so there!)