First things first: you have to watch the trailer...
The Lake House is a beautifully shot, emotional romance with a little time-travelling twist. Kate, a doctor, moves out of her unusual glass home on the edge of a lake and leaves a note for the next tenant. Alex, whose father actually designed and built the house, moves in and discovers her note. All very straightforward, you think – until they realise that Alex actually lived in the Lake House before Kate did and that, somehow, they are communicating through the house’s mailbox, even though he is living in 2004 and she is living in 2006.
And The Lake House is about waiting. Waiting for that special person who is right for you to come along. Should we wait? Are we kidding ourselves if we really believe they are out there? Do we always jump from relationship to relationship, thinking that something or someone better is around the corner? What if we don't rush in and end up spending our whole lives waiting fruitlessly?
Alex has followed in his father’s footsteps and has become an architect but, unlike his brother, he can’t stand to join the family firm and have to pay his dues for years before he’s allowed to build anything. He’d rather join a construction firm that builds cookie-cutter houses than be patient. Kate, however, seems to be stuck in limbo, living without direction. She seems lost and lonely – as if she’s waiting for something, but doesn’t really know what that is.
The Lake House, made completely of steel and glass is an unusual place - and not only for its lack of privacy! Somehow, it's a magical place where people feel they can be their true selves. It captures the light and shines it inwards, illuminating the lives of those who live there, helping them see what they really want (and need) in their lives.
Alex and Kate’s letters to each other move from information about boxes in the attic and forwarding mail to baring their souls to each other. These two seemingly unconnected people start to fall in love with each other. But, as the film progresses, clever twists reveal that they do meet and that their lives are more intertwined than they originally thought. It’s not an accident that Kate ended up living in the Lake House.
Eventually, they arrange to meet in the same time frame, even though Alex will have to wait two years once they set the date. Kate chooses an exclusive restaurant where Alex books the date for two years in the future. Kate turns up and waits…and waits. Alex never shows up and Kate is so heartbroken that she ends their relationship, not prepared to wait any longer for the perfect man she wants to give her heart to, who may never actually arrive. But later, she realises that Alex’s impatience has had tragic consequences. Can she communicate with him one last time and convince him to wait for her so they can finally be together?
The last scenes in this film when Kate realises what has happened and is desperately hoping Alex has got her last message choke me up every single time. And there are many wonderful romantic moments in this film, and it looks fabulous too. I wish I could take a holiday in that Lake House (sigh) but, unfortunately, it was specially designed and built for the film and was deconstructed afterwards. Probably really chilly too… Hey, but who needs to think about practicalities and reality when you can snuggle up on a cold spring evening and lose yourself in a great romantic film?