Swear I haven't turned into a sighing lovesick fool - but it's hard not to talk about it when the weekend comes around and I spend my time with Charming Calvin catching up on movies that we've both missed ( rare, I know but we do miss out on a few gems here and there ).
Most of my friends know that I'm not a fan of movies with contrived tragic endings ( Up Close and Personal, anyone? ) so I tend to stay away from any movie that even vaguely hints at an untimely demise for either one of the protagonists. Come on, I don't want to spend two hours getting emotionally involved with an intriguing character only to have them plunge off a deadly ravine to their grisly deaths at the last minute. Suffice to say, I've never actually enjoyed the tragic Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet. Always say that a well-deserved spanking would have done the lovelorn balcony-loving pair much good.
Which is how I deliberately missed the Lake House when it came around the cinemas first time around.
Surely the premise of the movie with two unwitting lovers separated by a span of two years but mystically connected by a time-travelling mailbox (?) bodes ill for the ending. Especially the fact that the movie essentially begins with the shocking fatal accident of an unknown young stranger in the arms of the protagonist, Kate Forster - which then leads her to the refuge of the serene lake house.
Come on, even a blind bat can see where the plot's going.
But suspend all logic and belief, dismiss the many credibility gaps here and there ( like the amazing shady tree in front of her apartment building ) riddling the plot with holes like Swiss Cheese - and you'll find two believably appealing characters who fall in love in the most fantastical circumstances.
Alex Wyler ( played by the charmingly dishevelled Keanu Reeves ) is a disgruntled architect with an estranged parent who makes the old lake house his sanctuary while Kate Forster ( played by Sandra Bullock ), a depressed physician finds peace in the same lake house that she once lived in with her ex boyfriend. Both live in the same improbably unstable glass-and-steel contraption by the lake but separated by a gap of two years. Time-travelling paradoxes don't seem to confound either one of them and they are both soon sending pensive love notes and playing imaginary dates through their trusty magical mailbox / chat room.
Dude, I've got mail...
As they start making serious commitments through their intimate epistolary tango - despite the seemingly insurmountable chronological obstacles, the couple make plans to meet at a fancy restaurant named Il Mare ( paying homage to the Korean film that this movie was based on ) in 2006, but later she shows up and spends the entire evening alone waiting. What could have happened to him in those intervening years? Happily married with three kids? Civil partnership with another man!? Won the lottery with the numbers she gave? A new career in the wilds of Alaska? Or are there far more sinister reasons behind his no-show?
Really. Just leave your scientific thinking cap behind, concentrate hard on the sappy romance and you'll be able to sit through the movie. Otherwise the obvious time misalignment ( and the mind-boggling alternate realities ) would give you a severe migraine.
But as all time-travel romances, it does beg the eternal question on how long you would wait for someone you love. Do you put your life on hold for two years placing all your bets on a cherished relationship that might not even materialize? Or do you move on with what you've already got in hand?
I'd pick his cherry anytime...
And hey in spite of it all, I'm still a fan of the wooden, expressionless Keanu. Somehow he gives off a laidback, cool dude vibe that you can't help but like. How else could I have enjoyed the otherwise mediocre Walk in the Clouds?