2006-06-30 / Columnists


'The Lake House' - Tangled Up In Time
By Robert Snyder

Do you really, really want to see stars Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves come together romantically after their team debut in the 1994's "Speed?" If so, you should see "The Lake House."

But, be warned. You will have to work very hard. This time-travel love story makes no rational sense whatsoever, unless you believe that love makes no rational sense whatsoever.

The central piece is a wacky glass lake house, constructed on stilts over the water with a tree growing inside. Architect Alex Wyler (Reeves), whose famous architect father Simon (Christopher Plummer) built it, moves in and finds a letter from the previous tenant, Dr. Kate Forster (Bullock), in which she asks to have her mail forwarded to her new Chicago home.

Strange, thinks Alex, there was no previous tenant... at least not within the last few years.

Writing via the red-flag mailbox outside the house, Alex develops a correspondence with Kate that becomes time-travel love longing. Time travel, because Kate lives in 2006 and Alex in 2004.

Things get curiouser and curiouser, with the couple even sharing the same female dog, Jack (go figure). Throughout the bizarre unrequited love story, the frustrated lovers confide in their highly confused colleagues, relatives, even real-time boyfriend and girlfriend. Determined to break the time barrier, Alex and Kate set up a date at a restaurant at a set time, much like the rendezvous on the Empire State Building in "Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle." Of course, being in the wrong year, Alex fails to show. But what if he was killed or injured, as was Deborah Kerr's character in "Affair?" This thought is meant to set off teary-eyed grabs for tissues more twisted than brains trying to unravel the plot convulsions.

I would like to see "Il Mare," the South Korean fantasy/romance on which Argentine director Alejandro Agresti ("Valentin") and screenwriter David Auburn ("Proof") based "The Lake House." It must have made enough sense to entice Bullock and Reeves to resume their "Speed" team in another movie.

Next time, the filmmakers should take the time to make the romance make sense.

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