14 Things I Learned While Watching: The Lake House
- The Plot: An architect (Keanu Reeves) living in the year 2004 falls in love with a doctor (Sandra Bullock) from the future (2006) with the help of a magic mailbox (played by Andy Serkis).
- Andy Serkis is great as The Mailbox. You wouldn’t think a mailbox could pull off more convincing facial expression than a human being. But it can, if that mailbox is a mailbox, and that human being is Keanu Reeves.
- The Mailbox in The Lake House is owned by Skynet. That’s how it’s capable of transporting mail through time from one year to another. The U.S. postal service salvaged the metal leftovers of the first Terminator from The Terminator, and then using the metal bits that had previously been used to make Arnold Swarzenager’s man-rack, they made a mailbox. And then they sold it to Keanu Reeves father, and shortly after that the mailbox found itself nailed to a post in front of the lake house.
- The world of The Lake House is a world in which we’re expected to believe that it’s possible for a lady to fall in love by reading a bunch of letters written by Keanu Reeves. Which is fucked. This movie was released in 2006, the same year Sandra Bullock’s character lives in. She could’ve warned Keanu to warn the movie studio or something. She could’ve sent a letter back to 2004 that said “Dear Warner Brothers, I’ve seen the future and it’s horrible! If you want this movie to be anywhere near relatable you’ve got to either ditch Keanu or change the magic powers of the mailbox. I don’t know what pisses me off most, Keanu’s letters or his toneless goddamn voice over reading of them. If we keep Keanu, we can’t have my character falling in love with his fucking letters. It won’t work. Forget it. Can we turn the mailbox into some sort of time barrier breaking two way mirror? That way at least I’d know straight up how cute he was. Or maybe he can send me DVD movies of himself doing sit ups. That could work too……”
- Fuck the out of control ocean liner version of Speed 2. The Lake House is the real sequel to Speed . You can’t tell by watching the version of the film that was actually shot, but there’s probably a first draft around somewhere that has all the really cool Speed 1 characters and mythology still intact, but then the studio probably pulled a Prometheus and hired Damon Lindelof to do a final rewrite in which he yanked all the stuff related to Speed right the hell out. The original screenplay for The Lake House was probably filled with xenomorphs named after Dennis Hopper, close ups of out of control speedometers, and lots of busses. Lindelof would’ve replaced that shit with a stray dog, blueprints, and an unnecessary sub-plot about Keanu’s shitty relationship with his dad.
- Keanu’s jeans in this movie are blue in order to best represent his feelings. It helps the audience to understand his emotional status when he makes that face that he makes, because when he makes the face while he’s wearing blue jeans you get the sense that he’s sad about something, but when he makes the face in other things, say brown slacks, it looks like he’s just remembered that he really wants a big pretzel but he can’t remember how to get to the mall.
- It’s romantic. They take walks together even though they’re 2 years apart. They eat at the same table in restaurants even though they can’t see each other. They jerk off in the same corner of the lake house while pretending they’re not 2 years away from each other. They pretend that they’re standing in the same room, at the same time, jerking off together when in reality 2004 Sandra Bullock doesn’t give a shit about what 2004 Keanu’s doing, she’s just a doctor doing her doctor duties and he’s just another guy in 2004 jerking off. (note: 2 years after the jerking, Keanu looks at his watch when the right time comes and he smiles. Mumbles ‘You like that, don’t you doc.’, high fives his own Budweiser, and then goes back to staring at the goddamn lake.)
- Back of DVD box describes this movie as ‘a love that transcends time’, like 2 years is such an impossible time span for love to exist through. This goddamn DVD box. It reads suspiciously as if it’d been written by Helen.
- But which Helen? The Helen from 2004 who appeared madly in love with me, or the Helen from 2006, a creature gorged ornery by extended monogamy and caged rent payments and had already started taking long trips back to New York without me, where she’d bring Ryan Adams concert shirts back for me and I could already feel the leaving, that we were through…..
- For a long stretch of the movie Keanu can’t win. He plants a goddamn tree for Sandra Bullock beside the hospital because she told him she liked hospitals but missed trees and then 2 years later she’s already kissing another man underneath it.
- Sandra Bullock=high maintenance. They agree to meet in the future at a nice restaurant and Keanu Reeves stands her up because he’s dead and Sandra Bullock still gets pissed off
- Fuck Jane Austen. The only thing more ruffling than listening to somebody talk about how much they love Jane Austen is listening to Sandra Bullock talking to Keanu about how much she loves Jane Austen.
- 2002. 2004. Different years, same regime. They’re both living it out inside that first or second term of the Bush Administration. You’d think Bullock would at some point warn him, you know, “oh heads up Keanu, that dumb bought-out prick we thought had no chance of being reelected will be reelected. No, not that dumb bought-out prick. The other prick. No, he’s not running. He’s just one of the masks you starred with in Point Break. No, that guy’s not even a politician, that’s your dentist. What do you mean you “don’t really know politics?”?! Who did you vote for, you mono-toned bass-playing piece of shit?! Who did you vote for?!”
- “Buttons aren’t toys.”. (Wait, that’s not The Lake House. That’s something I learned while watching The Hitchhiker’s Guide……)