There aren’t many Keanu Reeves movies that could be considered “overlooked.” The Lake House, though, just might be considered one. Fear not, what once was possibly overlooked no longer has to be as it is now available for free over at YouTube Movies.
The Lake House brings back together Keanu Reeves with co-star Sandra Bullock, who first hit the big screen together on the action-adventure box office winner, Speed. This second pairing of the two popular movie stars is quite the opposite of Speed.
The Lake House tells the story of two people, Keanu Reeves’ Alex Wyler, an architect, and Bullock’s Dr. Kate Foster, who both are renting the same lake house. As Foster leaves, she drops a note in the mailbox asking for the next tenant to forward her mail. She also makes mention that the pawprints on the path leading to the house were there when she arrived. The year is 2006.
When Alex arrives, he finds Kate’s letter in the mailbox. But the house looks quite neglected and as he approaches the house, there are no pawprints to be seen. As Alex is an architect, he begins to fix up the lake house. Alex is painting the inside when a dog runs through, leaving fresh paw prints exactly where Kate described them to be. What gives? The year for Keanu Reeves’ Alex is 2004.
So, Alex writes back to Kate, asking how she knew there would be paw prints. Kate, on the other hand, and in 2006, is driving home when she witnesses a traffic accident. Her attempts to save the victim are unsuccessful, prompting her to drive back to the lake house. She discovers Alex’s response in the mailbox.
Unable to understand what is going on, the two begin to correspond via the mailbox. They watch the mailbox flag raise and lower, knowing each has a message from the other. They never see anyone approach the mailbox, so they are clueless as to how the messages continue to appear. It isn’t long that they discover that they are living in two separate times, one in 2004 and the other in 2006.
They continue to communicate, trying to solve the mystery of their two-year time gap. As they pick away at it, Alex realizes he actually had met Kate before, but it was before they began to communicate, so he doesn’t mention it to her. They attempt to set up a meeting at a restaurant, which Alex never makes, causing Kate to tell him they need to stop corresponding.
Two years later, 2006 for Alex and 2008 for Kate, Alex returns to the lake house. At that same time, Kate is looking into a renovation for a house she wishes to purchase. While at the architect’s office, she notices a drawing of the lake house. When she questions it, the architect Henry Wyler explains that his brother Alex drew it. Kate then realizes that it was Henry’s brother with whom she was corresponding. She also learns that Alex died in a car accident, the same car accident that Kate tried, and failed, to save a man’s life. This man was Alex.
When it comes to movies that have time travel as part of their scenario, there must be a suspension of belief. Most critics found this difficult. While Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock can definitely draw an audience, the premise of the movie, while looking good on paper, didn’t translate as well on film. Even one of the more positive reviews, from Time Out’s Anna Smith, said of the movie, “The Lake House demands a serious suspension of disbelief, but if you accept it as a romantic bit of nonsense, it has its pleasures.”
Fans had an easier time suspending belief, finding the movie quite enjoyable in its complexities and romance. Alejandro Agresti directed the movie on a $40 million budget and despite the negative critical response, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock brought in over $115 million at the box office.
This isn’t the first time that Keanu Reeves tried his hand at mushy romantic drama. Although known for his action movies such as The Matrix franchise and John Wick, as well as the Bill & Ted comedy movies, Reeves has expanded his horizons to movies such as Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, A Walk in the Clouds, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, Sweet November, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, each with varying degrees of success.
Keanu Reeves looks to jump back into the action saddle as The Matrix 4 is right around the bend. Then Reeves’s next adventure will be as John Wick, not just one more time, but twice with John Wick 4 and John Wick 5 filming back-to-back. Until that time, if you’re willing to suspend a bit of belief and join Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock on a romantic time travel adventure, check out The Lake House.