Movie review

  • 2006-08-09
  • By TBT staff
The Lake House

The parents of 35-year-old Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) are sick and tired of him still living at home, so they secretly hire "professional interventionist" Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), who is certain that she can detach the overgrown teenager and get him to move out. But, as you can imagine, it's not easy to stay cold and professional when you are dealing with cutie McConaughey. This comedy doesn't have much focus, and even less logic. The premise is ridiculous 's and frankly quite cruel, leaving me with an uneasy feeling that was difficult to shake. Emotionally, "Failure to Launch" is as fake as the phony feelings Paula shows her loser clients. Good title, though. Very appropriate for the movie.
1/2 ( Sherwin Das )

Lightning McQueen (voice Owen Wilson) is a cocky race car travelling through the desert to a title-deciding race when "he" gets waylaid in the tiny town of Radiator Springs. There he learns the basic values of life, such as friendship, kindness and love. Or so the story supposedly goes. I actually find the idea of cars-as-people one liberty too much on the part of Disney and Pixar. "Cars" was heaped with praise by most critics for its wry pop-culture references and breathtaking computer animation. But the formula is becoming way too familiar and just how far do you take this absurd form of anthropomorphism? When Lightning falls in love it just so happens to be with Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt), a lawyer in the body of a Porsche. How subtle. How charming. If "Cars" were an actual film it would be laughed out of the cinema but because it's a sleek cartoon it's considered sweet and lovely. There is no value whatsoever to this utterly cynical work other than the vast amount of money it has generated. No doubt the management at Pixar is probably sitting round a table right now discussing its next project. No doubt it will reaffirm the basic values of life, such as friendship, kindness and love.
1/2 ( Tim Ochser )

The Lake House
"The Lake House," a remake of a Korean film, follows the story of architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) who moves into a lakeside home and opens a letter from the previous owner, Chicago doctor Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock). The two begin corresponding and soon realize that, due to some wrinkle in time facilitated by the lake house mailbox, they are living parallel lives two years apart. Attempting to bridge this chasm of the clock, they begin a romance in which her yesterdays and his tomorrows intersect. I did not expect much of this romantic reunion of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock who appeared together in "Speed." I was quite wrong. Written by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright David Auburn, "The Lake House" is a thoughtful, well-crafted love story that resists the descent into schmaltz. Director Alejandro Agresti draws unpretentious performances from his stars, evokes their humanness with a subtle touch, and imbues the film with an ethereal wistfulness. Architecture serves as a worthwhile metaphor throughout the film, and Christopher Plummer is memorable as the dour curmudgeon of a father in whose shadow Alex has lived. While the central concept requires the suspension of a certain confounding logic, "The Lake House" is a satisfying film of unusual delicacy.
( Sherwin Das )

I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed "The Lake House," contrary to all expectations. I even laughed out loud several times at the audacious awfulness of the dialogue. The story revolves around architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) and doctor Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock). Professions, it should be noted, are highly significant in American romantic comedies as they provide an ontological compatibility between characters. Ahem, anyway, Alex moves into a beautiful lakeside house that his famous but estranged architect father built. He soon starts communicating with the house's ex-tenant (that's Kate) via the mailbox. In no time at all they fall in love with each other through their tenderly written letters. The problem is Alex is living in 2004, while Kate is stuck in 2006. How will the lovers overcome this slight snag? How will they ever get to meet? It would be pointless of me to criticise the breathtaking stupidity of the plot. "The Lake House" is actually very enjoyable, albeit for all the wrong reasons. I had a blast watching it. When Alex tells Kate that she has "gentle unguarded eyes," I truly cracked up. It's frightening to think some people will actually buy the soundtrack to this film.
( Tim Ochser )


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