“The Lake house”

9 Feb

I never thought Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves had chemistry, and this movie reaffirmed my view. I still liked the movie though, and think it’s good enough for light entertainment, despite its flaws. I have been reading the discussion boards at www.imdb.com and so many people are confused by the plot. I confess I benefitted from the explanations that some posters there have given, and that lack of clarity is, I think, the film’s greatest problem. Other movies that deal with alternate timelines have done it well enough, like Sliding Doors, for example, but here you have to keep all your attention focused on the plotline or you’re lost. I had to go back to the final scenes a couple of times to understand the crucial point of the movie. Perhaps an off-hand comment on the dates here and there by Sandra Bullock’s character would have helped.

I read that John Cusack was the first choice for the male lead. Had he taken the role it would have been a different movie altogether, but he is a better actor than Reeves, imo. I liked Keanu in the first Matrix movie (the sequels were unbearably stupid), but then he didn’t have to talk much in that one. His delivery in “The Lake House” reminds me of Bill (or was it Ted?) in the Excellent Adventure movie. And the kissing scene made me squirm a little, not because he grabbed her when he first approached (as the people at imdb found), but because it looked rehearsed and contrived (“Ok, now I’m going to go crazy and kiss her many times”).

I also didn’t like that Kate went back to her old boyfriend for a while. Why would an intelligent woman go back to a selfish twit who made her unhappy before? It makes me think less of her. 

I think upon reflection my opinion of the film can be summarized by saying that I sought an explanation for the murky plotline on the internet, rather than having to watch the movie again.

The film uses a copy of “Persuasion” as a plot device, and the reference is certainly appreciated, but I disagree with the description of the novel. Kate tells Alex that “Persuasion” is about waiting, and that suits the movie’s theme very well, but not Jane Austen’s final work.

“Persuasion” is about regret. It’s about constancy, about unwavering love, even when there is no hope of it being returned.  From Chapter 23 of Persuasion:

   “Oh!” cried Anne eagerly, “I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you, and by those who resemble you. God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures! I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman. No, I believe you capable of everything great and good in your married lives. I believe you equal to every important exertion, and to every domestic forbearance, so long as — if I may be allowed the expression, so long as you have an object. I mean while the woman you love lives, and lives for you. All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!”   Jane Austen


2 Responses to ““The Lake house””

  1. Tim Wilson February 27, 2007 at 2:28 am #


    I was interested that they are making a movie about Jane Austen, but it sounds as though it might not be up to much. I thought you might be interested in that I am from the North of Ireland, Belfast actually, troubles and all. I have visited Devon and was in Lyme Regis a few times. This is where Jane Austen stayed on holiday occasionally and in ‘Persuasion’ there is the famous scene about the dragon’s teeth. This was on the pier and was a series of jutting steps that looked precarious as they went up the side of the pier. One of Jane’s characters is coming down and trips at the bottom, falling into the arms of one of the gentlemen.
    I climbed those steps four years ago that I am sure were also climbed by Jane. Just an interesting little bit of Austen gossip as I can see you are a huge fan. I have been a reader all my life and have read most of the Russian classics and Jane’s ‘Persuasion’ for my A levels at College some years ago. I loved that book and I enjoy your site, which incidentally has the same parchment theme as my own. I am putting it on to my favourites. Incidentally there appears to be a lovely film about Beatrix Potter called ‘Miss Potter’. I can’t wait to see what Renee Zeilwager does with that role.

    Belfast Scribe.

  2. lvmg February 27, 2007 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi Tim, thanks for stopping by. I visited Lyme Regis four years ago and climbed those very steps. The Cobb was lovely and I really enjoyed being in the same place as those beloved characters.

    I have not seen “Miss Potter” but I like Renee Zellweger. I’ve heard good things about the movie so I’ll check it out if I have the chance.

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