Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
|Featuring||Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Christopher Plummer, Shohreh Aghdashloo, John Corbett, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Dylan Walsh, Lynn Collins|
|Producer||Bruce Berman, Doug Davison, Robert Kirby, Roy Lee, Sonny Mahli, Sonny Mallhi, Mary McLaglen, Geoff Shaevitz, Greg Silverman, Erwin Stoff|
“How do you hold on to someone you’ve never met?”
Where do you see heaven? In the grass and the trees? The expanse of the dessert sky at sundown? The roar of distant thunder? In the glow off the lake in the summer sun? God has placed a little bit of Heaven everywhere so that we may know it exists. All we have to do is be available to see it. As Chesterton wrote, “It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike. It may be that God makes every daisy separately but has never got tired of making them. Hence, the repetition in nature may not be a mere recurrence but a theatrical encore.”
And so it is with each new couple who finds true love… some in the most profound ways…
Needing to get away from the city, Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves in a solid performance as a guy who is adrift in life) rents an old run down house on stilts, on a lake not far from Chicago. The son of a world renowned Architect, Simon Wyler (Christopher Plummer), Alex has fallen into being an Architect himself, but on a much more conservative level—he puts up condos. Alex, in renting the worn, but lovely glassed in house, finds a sort of reclusive peace in it’s efficient structure.
Alex’s father is a distant man who hasn’t spoken to Alex in many years. Always was too busy becoming famous to take any interest in Alex or his younger brother Henry (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Simon Wyler is more a name on a page in the prominent Architectural Digest than a father.
Firmly set in the gravel next to the dock which leads over the lake to the house is the mailbox. Worn and faded, but having a red flag that soon will take Alex on a wonderful journey…
Soon after deciding to move into the city from the pleasant lake house she’d been renting, Dr. Kate Forester (an extremely likeable, as ever-- Sandra Bullock) has second thoughts. She returns to place a note in the little mailbox to let the new tenant know her forwarding address, but it seems she’s used the trip back to the lake house as an excuse to say goodbye one more time to the serenity she knew there.
Alex feels compelled to write Kate back a thank you, and to correct her mistake of putting the year 2006 on her correspondence, when he knows it’s really 2004. Soon after he drops his note off for the mailman to pick up from his mailbox, Kate returns and notices the red flag is up. On a whim, she checks inside and finds the note addressed for her. She opens it and is annoyed he is correcting her date, when everyone knows it’s really 2006. She hurriedly writes a curse note back to Alex, leaves it in the mailbox and turns to leave.
As if pushed by an unseen hand, the red flag on the mailbox goes up with a squeak. Kate carefully returns to the faded old mailbox to investigate. With a bit of hesitation she opens the door and looks inside. A NEW NOTE has appeared ! Confused, she reads this new note addressed to her from Alex. Feeling a bit crazy, but too curious to let it ride, Kate hurriedly writes a note back to Alex and places it within the mailbox… and puts up the squeaky red flag. In no time, down the red flag goes and she opens the door to find yet another NEW NOTE addressed to her from Alex!
From this point on the “magic mailbox” ties Alex and Kate together in ways each never would have imagined. Through their notes they question, to their amazement, are they actually living 2 years apart? Unimaginable as it may seem, they begin to accept that fact and become close friends. Knowing the innermost hurts, joys, and day-to-day thoughts of the other.
As Kate and Alex continue to correspond through the lake house’s mailbox they confirm that they are, incredibly, impossibly, living two years apart, and each at a time in their lives when they are struggling with past disappointments and trying to make a new start. Sharing this unusual bond, they reveal more of themselves to one another with each passing week—their secrets, their doubts and dreams, until they find themselves falling in love
They fall in love for all the right reasons. Because they have taken the time to get to know each other by listening and opening up. All this without even knowing what the other looks like. How very refreshing.
Determined to bridge the distance between them at last and unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary connection, they arrange to meet. But, by trying to join their two separate worlds, as the trailer cautions, “they could risk losing each other forever.”
Based on a 2000 Korean film called “`Il Mare”, this movie is a time traveling romance which works on a more emotional and spiritual level, rather than on the temporal or through logic. If it were realistic and logical that would take all the romantic enjoyment out of it. “The Lake House” takes us through all sorts of twists and turns within the plot, but it is the romantic course, constantly spinning with questions as to whether or not these two people will ever be able to meet across time, that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
Rating it PG is correct as there are two times we see characters drinking in Chicago bars and twice where profanity is uttered in the form of h*ll and the Lord’s name in vain, whispered ‘Christ.’ God, or prayer for the perfect partner is never mentioned, although at the end the Kate character does kneel and clasps her hands as if in prayer, in her sincere desire to meet Alex. Too bad, because the rest of the film is sweet and clean, with no nudity or sexy love scenes. The two main characters who fall deeply in love, because of the time travel distance only get to kiss twice! I would feel fine taking even my pre-teen to this film, the story is exiting and easy to understand, the characters are likeable and even warmly familiar. I would go as far as to say “The Lake House” could turn out to be a romantic modern classic, in the Ghost-Princess Bride-Somewhere In Time class. Such movies believe that love can break through time, and I as a hopeless romantic, believe it, too!
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
“Patience” is the key word which drives this film. Waiting for the one you love, even if it takes years, is a wonderful concept to deal with in this time of sexual subversion and unwholesome ideas about sexuality. Knowing the one you love in an emotional, even intellectual way BEFORE an intimate way is a message so very needed these days. I was absolutely thrilled to see this idea put across in a subtle, gentle way, without being “hokey.”
I also strongly recommend “Echoes Of Innocence” which can be rented at local outlets or online. It’s message of abstinence is told with a modern twist meant for every pre-teen and teenager who needs the story told with a Christian spark without being preachy. (See this site for our exclusive review of “Echoes Of Innocence”.)
“The Lake House” is NOT a chick flick. It is NOT a comedy. And it is NOT one of those over the top everybody-these-days-has sex-on-a-first-date movies that seems to be coming off the Hollywood assembly line these days. It is an almost fairy tale look at love before sexual contact. We are swept up in the story and enjoy the outcome. It tells us that its right to get to know someone BEFORE you even touch them! I applaud that and pray moviegoers come out to see this film and put the so-called movie critics to shame who are putting it down for being so unbelievable. Well, dah, it’s fiction guys. So is Steven King stuff, but you give those dark-from-hell-foul-with-no-base-in-fact flicks you’re A+ approval all the time. Go figure.
One of the basic first questions we ever ask ourselves is “what is love?” then “what is TRUE love?” then to go yet further, “What is true love to me?” Man or woman ponders this question. We all search our hearts for the answer at some point in our lives. Asking opens the door to the heart, prayer opens the door to God which, in turn opens the heart to the world of romantic emotions (and beyond, as is the case in “The Lake House”) for the answer. God orchestrates it all, and I believe He can give a person true love in any way, shape or form He so desires.
If we are willing to wait, God will provide. He knows what we need better than we know ourselves:
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what evil may happen on Earth.
If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the Earth; and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun. For if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all…
Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None