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The last time that Sandra Bullock co-starred with Keanu Reeves was in 1994 in Speed, the movie that made her a star. Since 2002, she has been pretty much MIA, with only a small part in the Oscar-winning Crash and a starring role in the unfortunate Miss Congeniality 2. I've missed her. While she was away, she got married to Monster Garage's Jesse James. Anyway, Bullock is back and in The lake House, she is playing a doctor who moves into an unusual house on a lake that soon becomes even more unusual. She is living in 2006 but she is soon exchanging letters with a man (Reeves) who lived in the same house in 2004. By what magic this is made possible, we never find out, but letters put in her mailbox show up in the same mailbox two years earlier to be read by Reeves and vice versa. Reeves is an architect as are his brother (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and father (Christopher Plummer). The mysterious magical house was designed and built by Plummer when Reeves was a kid. Now they estranged. Bullock works at a hospital and leads a lonely life with only a co-worker (Shohreh Aghdashloo) as a friend. She recently broke up with her boyfriend (Dylan Walsh). All the stuff that I've told you comes out in the first few minutes of the movie. Telling you more is dangerous. As you can tell from the poster for the movie, Bullock and Reeves begin to fall in love even though they have never met and are out of phase by two years. Well, they have met, but then you'll have to see the movie to see what I mean. For much of the movie, i.e., from scene #1, the ending seems to be a foregone conclusion. But then it becomes apparent that Reeves can do things in the past that change the future. So how The Lake House ends is anyone's guess.
Everything is a remake these days but The Lake House is an obscure one. It has been adapted from a Korean film, Siworae by David Auburn who wrote Proof. The director, Alejandro Agresti, is an Argentinean who is making his first Hollywood movie after making many films in his own country. He gives The Lake House a nice rhythm as it bounces back and forth from 2004 to 2006. It is an enjoyable romantic movie with two stars that I really like. But this movie requires a huge suspension of disbelief. First, you have to buy into the premise of the magical time-traveling mailbox. But then, as in all time-travel movies, there are paradoxes that will drive you nuts if you if you start thinking about them. The most obvious is that in 2004, Reeves knows all about Bullock so he can just go and see her anytime he wants. This problem is dealt with in the movie, and, in fact, he does see her. But it gets a bit frustrating as time goes on and on, and our star-crossed lovers are still apart. C'est la vie. The road of true love is not smooth, particularly when they are on different temporal planes!
But, like I said, it's just nice to see Sandra Bullock back in a role that is good for her. And it's also nice to see Keanu Reeves in non-Science-Fiction part. He's very good in this kind of movie. Christopher Plummer, who at age 76 is still the busiest man in movies, is not taxed by his role of Reeves' egotistical father. The woman playing Bullock's doctor friend (Shohreh Aghdashloo) may look familiar. She was in House of Sand and Fog. Dylan Walsh (Nobody's Fool) who plays Bullock's on and off boyfriend is not in Keanu Reeves league. So there's no drama in wondering which guy Bullock will pick. But hey, it's a chick flick, it's romantic so go with the temporal flow.