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Lake House, The


Stars: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Christopher Plummer, Shohreh Aghdashloo. Dylan Walsh

Director: Alejandro Agresti

Back in harness for the first time since Speed, Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves seem to have lost much of the vibrancy that made their characters in that film so real, in this pallid romance about two people falling in love by correspondence across time.

We're not sure we can explain this with any conviction, but we'll give it a try: Reeves is an architect who goes to live in the lake house his father (Plummer) built.

Living in 2004, he finds himself passing on mail to the doctor (Bullock) who will succeed him in the house (Shouldn't this be the other way round?). Through knowing her history, he contrives to meet her in his present and her past.

'What do I look like?' she asks in a letter, unconvinced by his explanation. 'Long brown hair,' he replies. 'Gentle, unguarded eyes.' If you're not yet ready for the sick bag, you will be after Bullock writes him that her favourite things include 'When I smell the flowers before I see them' and the smell of her dog's paws.

Bullock does what she can with the sappy sentiment and flowery dialogue; Reeves copes less well. And how can she alter events in 2004 that she herself has already witnessed and checked out in 2006? Ah well, best not to dwell on it.

But keep an eye on the beginning and you should work out the so-called twist towards the end.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 10 Jul 2006