Friday, June 16, 2006

Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Christopher Plummer, Dylan Walsh

Cinema 4, Shang Cineplex

"How do you hold on to someone you've never met?"

Kate and Alex

My original plan was to watch another French movie but there was something wrong with Cinema 1 therefore it was canceled, for today. Since I was already there, I settled for "Lake House". Honestly, I admit I wasn't fully concentrating on this film. I had it in my brain that I was going to watch a French film so for some strange reason, I felt cheated. I also felt cheated by "Lake House".
It is a love story with a twist. Kate and Alex start corresponding through the mailbox of a house on a lake. Only problem is they are stuck in different time zones. She is currently in the year 2006 while he is still in 2004. Yes strange scenario but hey it is just a movie, one that transcends time. This movie was patterned after a Korean film, IL Mare. It was directed by an Argentinean director. It stars two Hollywood actors who worked together 12 years ago in that action thriller "Speed". They have developed a good chemistry both on and off the screen. So this film is a good comeback vehicle for them to reunite and try to re-enact their sparks on screen.
The Lake House, in question is a beautiful transparent structure built on the edge of a lake. A masterpiece in architectural design which sadly wasn't featured much in the film. Somehow, it felt like a house not really a home for both of the characters who inhabited it at certain intervals during their lives.
Alex (Keanu Reeves) is an architect. The script interjects valuable insights about architectural structures especially when Alex talks shop with his father, (Christopher Plummer) a famous architect too who designed the lake house. They provided the necessary tools like a drawing table, blueprints, maps and books for an architect. To make Alex seem like the consummate professional who is passionate about his job. Sandra Bullock's character, Kate is a doctor. She is a lonely person who also focuses mostly on healing people. We are not really privy to their other interests and or hobbies. They are both lonely souls very occupied with their work who connect through their letters. Never mind the fact that they are not in the same time zone. Slowly their love story develops, the time frame flickers between Alex's past (2004) and Kate's current life (2006) and even ventures way into the future (2008).
My problem with this movie is that you know Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves maintain a good relationship in real life. In some sense, you know they are merely acting just for the heck of it. My point is that it is clearly evident they treat each other as friends not as romantic partners. Yes sure, obviously there is some chemistry between the two of them yet for me it wasn't based on romance it was purely platonic. That factor glaringly comes across in the film. That whatever relationship Kate and Alex develop in the film isn't nurtured with passion nor romance. But rather it is just some deep friendship harbored on respect, trust and mutual support.
I also have some issue with the rather confusing time frame in the film. As I said earlier in this review, I wasn't totally focused so I was trying very hard to channel my hopeless romantic self to be wowed by this film. One question though if they are always 2 years apart how come it just all falls into place at the end? Oh well. I just shrugged, smiled and said 'awww how sweet' and watched the end credits roll by to the tune of a Paul McCarthey song whose title escapes me at the moment. In the same manner as pretty soon, this film would evaporate into the memory warehouse in the abyss of my mind.
In conclusion, the film does have a certain level of poignancy factored into an impossible love story scenario but it seems in all my sarcastic glory, it failed to tug at my heartstrings.

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