The Lake House

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, the stars of Speed, are reunited but there’s nothing fast or exciting about this ponderous pen-pal movie.

Nice slow-moving architect (Keanu Reeves) moves into a picturesque Chicago lake house and starts a correspondence with nice attractive medic (Sandra Bullock) who has also lived there. Sadly they’re living two years apart. Can they get it together? Do we care?

They say:

The Independent: “Reeves is amiable as ever in his woodenly inexpressive way, and Bullock plays along adequately.”

Channel 4: “Too overwrought and underwhelming to be the classic chick flick it so desperately wants to be.”

We say:

The Lake House is a gently romantic movie (with Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake on the soundtrack) about two people caught up in the most ridiculous film plot of the year.

Director, Alejandro Agresti deserves the credit for Keanu Reeves’ performance, focusing on the things Keanu is good at and minimizing his limitations. He lets him gaze moodily into the distance and walk around a lot in that very masculine, nearly-tripping-up-all-the-time way that Keanu has made his own. Then he cuts his lines down to the bare essentials and shoots most of them from a distance or from the back. The result is as near to a convincing performance that we are likely to get from Mr. Reeves.

Wisely, Agresti never trusts either of his stars to just stand and deliver their lines. Like giving children crayons and a colouring book on long train journeys, he makes sure that they keep out of trouble by always having something to do with their hands. So, when Sandra Bullock visits her mum, she is tossing salad within seconds of closing the front door. Then there is all that letter writing and putting letters into the postbox. You feel that at any minute they might even get to help make a cake.

Apart from some hopelessly cheesy sequences when the time-crossed lovers are mixed in and out of the same scenes, the whole enterprise just about holds together as a piece of romantic slush but if that’s all you want, why not just buy the soundtrack and stay in on that comfy sofa with a glass of wine?

Cert PG

Keanu Reeves
Sandra Bullock
Christopher Plummer

Alejandro Agresti

Running time:
98 minutes

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