The Lake House (film)

The Lake House (film)

Infobox Film | name=The Lake House

caption = Original Theatrical Poster
director = Alejandro Agresti
producer = Doug Davison and Roy Lee. Co-Producer - Sonny Mallhi
writer = David Auburn
starring = Keanu Reeves
Sandra Bullock
music = Rachel Portman
Paul McCartney
editing= Alejandro Brodersohn
distributor = Warner Brothers
released = US June 16, 2006
runtime = US 105 min
language = English
budget = US $40 million
amg_id = 1:323690
imdb_id = 0410297
website =
Infobox movie certificates
Argentina = 13
Aust,ralia = PG / M (DVD rating)
Brazil = Livre
Canada (British Columbia) = G
Germany = o.Al.
Hong_Kong = I
Ireland = 12
Malaysia = U
Philippines = G
Singapore = PG
Sweden = Btl
United_Kingdom = 12
United_States = PG

"The Lake House" is a 2006 American romantic drama film remake of the Korean motion picture "Il Mare" (2000).

It was written by David Auburn, directed by Alejandro Agresti, and stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock as Alex Wyler and Kate Forster, respectively an architect living in 2004 and a doctor living in 2006. The two are introduced and share correspondence across the years by leaving letters in a mailbox at the lake house they've both lived in at separate points in time. This film also reunites Reeves and Bullock for the first time since they co-starred in "Speed" in 1994.


It's a winter morning in 2006, and Dr. Kate Forster is leaving suburban Illinois, where Kate completed her residency, as she prepares to take a job at a busy Chicago hospital. She is reluctant to leave behind the refuge of the woods and the beautiful house she's been renting, an artfully designed home with glass walls that overlook a placid lake.

As she goes, Kate leaves a note in the mailbox for the next tenant, asking whomever to forward her mail and pointing out that the paint-imbedded paw prints on the walkway leading into the house were already there when she arrived.

Alex Wyler is a talented but frustrated architect supervising the construction of cookie-cutter condos at a nearby site. He arrives at the lake house and finds it neglected - and with no signs of paw prints anywhere. The house has special meaning for Alex, having been built by his estranged father, a celebrated architect who let his career grow at the expense of his family, and himself. Like Kate, Alex feels a sense of peace at the lake house and commits to restoring it. He doesn't think twice about Kate's note until days later when, as he paints the walkway's railings, a stray dog runs through his paint and leaves fresh paw prints right where Kate said they would be.

Baffled, Alex writes her back, pointing out that the house was unoccupied before he came and wondering how she could have known about paw prints that weren't yet there. Kate, who just left the house a week earlier, imagines he is playing some kind of joke on her, and she fires back a curt reply. Just for argument's sake, she asks, what day is it there? "April 14th, 2004," Alex answers. But for Kate, it's April 14th, 2006. The same day, two years apart.

As Kate and Alex continue their correspondence through the lake house's mystical mailbox, they confirm that they are, strange as it may seem, living two years apart, and each at a time in their lives when they're struggling to make a new start. Sharing this unusual bond, they reveal more of themselves to one another with each passing week.

In one of her letters, Kate mentions a Jane Austen book, "Persuasion", she had accidentally left at a train station in 2004. Alex goes to the station and finds it there on a bench. Seeing Kate for the first time as she boards the train, Alex keeps the book, deciding he will return it to her in person some day. Alex then sends Kate an annotated map of Chicago and invites her to take a walking tour of his favorite places one Saturday morning. Somewhere near the end of the journey, Kate finds a message sprayed as graffiti on a wall: "Kate, I am here with you. Thank you for a lovely Saturday together."

Determined to bridge the distance between them at last and unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary connection, they tempt fate by arranging to meet. Alex makes a reservation at Il Mare (Italian for "The Sea"), an elegant restaurant (whose name is an homage to the original Korean motion picture), for a date two years in Alex's future — but only a day away for Kate. When she shows up full of wonderful expectations for their dinner date, however, she waits- but Alex fails to appear.

Kate is heartbroken, and she begins to wonder if she has been making a mistake focusing so much of her emotional energy on a man who, in her time, had clearly moved on. She tells Alex about a day right after she left the lake house, an unusually warm Valentine's Day when she'd witnessed a terrible traffic accident and held a man who died in her arms. Life was too short, she now knew, to wait for what might be. She asks Alex not to contact her again, to "Let me let you go", and stops coming to the mailbox for his letters.

Alex decides to quit the lakehouse and move in with his brother in Chicago, leaving all of Kate's letters packed neatly in a box in the attic. The dog Jack runs away as Alex packs — only to appear at the side of Kate's old boyfriend Morgan, just after Alex passes along the house keys, reminding him of Kate’s wishes to one day live on the lake.

The 2006 Kate renews her relationship with Morgan, and they live together in her Chicago apartment for over a year. One afternoon, irritated with his inattention and preoccupation with work, she walks into the bedroom, where a hollow-sounding area under a floorboard finally gets her attention. Stepping hard on one end, she pops the board loose, revealing a small package hidden underneath. It is the Jane Austen book ("Persuasion") Alex retrieved for her from the train station. He has left a flower marking a specific passage: "There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison...." Kate holds the book to her heart.

One unusually warm winter day, Alex and his brother leave their office, heading out to lunch. When Alex suggests they meet up after work for a beer, Henry reminds him that it's Valentine's Day and he has plans with his girlfriend. Valentine’s Day 2006...something clicks in Alex's memory and he takes off for the lake house.

For Kate, it’s Valentine's Day 2008, and she and Morgan arrange to meet at an architectural firm to review renovation plans for an old apartment she wants to buy. Morgan, unenthused about both the project and the idea of moving, has been so busy with work, he has forgotten to get Kate a card. After they meet with the architect, Kate notices an illustration hanging on the conference room wall -it's the lake house. The young man explains that it was drawn by his brother Alex Wyler, who by coincidence was killed in a traffic accident two years ago to the day.

Kate quickly realizes why Alex never met her at the restaurant; he was killed the day they first began their correspondence - the day she sought solace at the lake house after witnessing a horrible traffic accident.

She rushes to the lake house, leaving a bewildered Morgan behind, and frantically writes a note for Alex. Don't go looking for her, she begs him. Wait for another two years and come to the lake house, instead. It is in this very note, in fact, that she first explicitly professes her love to him. She puts the note into the mailbox and raises the flag.

But Alex has gone off to find her - and sees her sitting there in Daley Plaza on that unseasonably mild Valentine's Day afternoon in 2006. As he seems about to step into the street, he raises his hand and rereads the note from Kate, begging him to wait for her - and wisely decides to remain on the sidewalk, splitting himself off from the original timeline and avoiding a heart-rending tragedy for both Kate and Alex's younger brother Henry.

Kate kneels by the mailbox, sure she was too late. But then the mailbox flag slowly lowers - Alex has picked up her note. Soon she sees a vehicle arriving beyond the high grass and then a figure walking toward her on the gravel path, and it turns out to be Alex. "You waited!", she cries as they begin to kiss each other. And then they turn and, still huddled together, proceed up the wooden walkway toward the waiting lakehouse.

Production Notes

* Throughout the movie, both Kate and Alex can be seen actually saying "2004" and "2002", but the dates have been overdubbed in post-production to "2006" and "2004".Fact|date=February 2007. It is possible this is due to a script error or a choice by the producers to make Kate's story take place contemporaneously to when the film was released in 2006.
* Kate's Chicago apartment at 1620 North Racine doesn't exist. While there is a North Racine Street in Chicago, there is no 1600 block.
* The restaurant "Il Mare" is a nod to the name of the original Korean film on which "The Lake House" is based.
* Kate wearing a red coat at the end of the movie is also a nod to the original Korean film Il Mare in which the actress was also wearing a red coat while rushing to the lake house.
* Although the actual lake house was constructed for the film and dismantled after completion, it was photographed by the Google Earth satellite and can presently be seen at the following coordinates coord|41|42|85|N|87|53|19|W|type:landmark_region:US-IL. For ease of location, the Lake House is on Maple Lake East (part of Cook County Forest Preserve) and reached by turning off Archer Avenue (171) at 95th Street and taking the turning on the right after Wolf Road and before 104th Avenue. In the Google Earth picture, the production trailers can be seen on the approach road.
* Alex (Keanu Reeves) leaves a box in the attic, yet there is no visible attic when looking at the shots of the house's exterior.
* The man sitting beside Kate (and using breath freshener) on the Chicago bus is Alejandro Agresti, the Director of the film. [ Trivia for The Lake House (2006)]
* This film is an example of the artistic genre magical realism.
* Theoretically, if Alex read and heeded Kate's warning to stay away from Daley Plaza on February 14, 2006, his failing to die in the accident would have changed the future, potentially causing the events of the film never to have taken place at all. For if Alex was never struck and killed, Kate would have had no reason to head to the lake house for solace--and she might never have ended up in a correspondence with Alex. In science fiction story telling terms, this is known as a temporal paradox, and has caused several critics to point out the illogic of the entire premise.
* The movie's parallel timelines are two years apart, yet 2004 is a leap year while 2006 is not, although this does not affect the storyline much however, as they 'meet' by correspondence on April 14th, 2004/2006, after the leap year's extra day (Feb 29th) has passed. (In the original film, the two years were 2000 and 1998, one of which again is a leap year and one of which is not.)
* Be that as it may, it is reasonable to conclude that the audience is not expected to know which years are leap years and which are not. The essential plot point, therefore, boils down to this: Alex only knows Kate is at Daley Plaza in the beginning because she warns him - and asks him to wait - at the end, but for Alex to be alive to meet Kate in 2008 he must first be killed in 2006. Even in the case of parallel time lines, for it is an established fact [] that these must eventually meet if they are to be parallel in the first place (although higher entropy results in more information [] , not less). So, which came first in time? Valentine's Day, 2006, or Valentine's Day, 2008? It is, in point of fact, neither and both - at the same time. Though not a paradox as such, it is indeed a working contradiction, as neither retrocausality nor duality inherently apply.
* Kate's last name is an homage to English writer E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster who lived from 1879 to 1970 and who, ironically, did not hold very high an opinion of Jane Austen's literary output.


* Sandra Bullock - Dr. Kate Forster
* Keanu Reeves - Alex Wyler
* Shohreh Aghdashloo - Dr. Anna Klyczynski
* Christopher Plummer - Simon J. Wyler
* Ebon Moss-Bachrach - Henry Wyler
* Willeke van Ammelrooy - Mrs. Forster
* Dylan Walsh - Morgan Price
* Lynn Collins - Mona


Infobox Album
Name = The Lake House (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Type = Soundtrack
Artist = Rachel Portman

Released = June 20, 2006
Recorded =
Genre = Soundtrack
Length =
Label = Lakeshore Records
Producer =
Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
Last album =
This album =
Next album =

Track listing

# "This Never Happened Before" - Paul McCartney
# "(I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine" - The Clientele
# "Time Has Told Me" - Nick Drake
# "Ant Farm" - Eels
# "It’s Too Late" - Carole King
# "The Lakehouse" - Rachel Portman
# "Pawprints" - Rachel Portman
# "Tough Week" - Rachel Portman
# "Mailbox" - Rachel Portman
# "Sunsets" - Rachel Portman
# "Alex's Father" - Rachel Portman
# "Il Mare" - Rachel Portman
# "Tell Me More" - Rachel Portman
# "She's Gone" - Rachel Portman
# "Wait For Me" - Rachel Portman
# "You Waited" - Rachel Portman
# "I Waited" - Rachel Portman

During the movie Reeves and Bullock dance in 2004 to the Paul McCartney song "This Never Happened Before", but this is anachronistic. The song was released in 2005 on McCartney's album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.

ongs appearing in the film, but not on the soundtrack

* "I Wish You Love" - Rosemary Clooney
* "There Will Never Be Another You" - Rosemary Clooney
* "Pink Moon" - Nick Drake
* "La noyée" - Carla Bruni
* "Sentimental Tattoo" - Jukebox Junkies
* "Chiamami Adesso" - Paolo Conte
* "When It Rains" - Brad Mehldau
* "Young at Heart" - Brad Mehldau
* "Almost Like Being In Love" - Gerry Mulligan
* "O Pato" - Stan Getz
* "A Man and A Woman" - Sir Julian
* "Bitter" - Meshell Ndegeocello

ongs associated with the film, but not in the film or on the soundtrack

* The trailer features the song "Somewhere Only We Know" by the band Keane. It is available on the album "Hopes and Fears".

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed a total of $13.6 million, ranking fourth in the United States box office. As of October 1, 2006, the movie has grossed $52,330,111 domestically, and $114,830,111 worldwide.

On September 26, 2006, the movie became the first to be simultaneously released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD (courtesy of Warner Home Video).

Critical reception

According to the website Rotten Tomatoes, two thirds of the critics gave the movie a negative review. Many critics have expressed dissatisfaction in the plot's internal logic. Alex breaks Kate's timeline twice during the film, leading some to interpret events as a time paradox. Other critics have ignored their doubts or have found no reason to follow a single-timeline interpretation of events. Positive reviews concentrate on the film's cinematography, use of Chicago architecture, and the depiction of the characters' feelings of loneliness and separation.

"USA Today" critic Claudia Puig wrote, "The "Lake House" is one of the more befuddling movies of recent years. The premise makes no sense, no matter how you turn it around in your head.".

Roger Ebert, while pointing out the movie's logical inconsistencies, wrote, "Never mind, I tell you, never mind!" Ebert gave a positive review (3.5 stars out of 4) noting, "What I respond to in the movie is its fundamental romantic impulse."

On August 18, 2006 Reeves and Bullock won a Teen Choice Award for "Choice Liplock" for "The Lake House".


In an episode of Family Guy, The Lake House is parodied as Keanu Reeves' character opens the mailbox and aligns his groin to the opening, and then smiles.

The name of the restaurant where Kate was supposed to meet Alex was named "ll Mare". ll Mare is the title of the original Korean movie, that this film was based on.

In the series Psych, in the episode entitled "Talk Derby to Me"(Season 3, Episode 7), Shawn references this movie while on the phone to Juliet "Jules" O'Hara. He says he received a message from Keanu Reeves from two years in the past, and wondered how to contact him.


* [ MovieWeb]
* [ Box Office Mojo]
* [ Chicago Reader]
* Price, Prof. H.: [ "Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point"] , 1997 "Oxford University Press, USA". Home page of the widely acclaimed book. Huw Price is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, Australia. Retrieved on 2008-09-26.
* Avery, Samuel C.: [ "The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness: A Physical Basis for Immaterialism"] , 1995 "Compari". Retrieved on 2008-09-26.

External links

* [ Official website] ,

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