The Lake House (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Lake House
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlejandro Agresti
Produced byDoug Davison
Roy Lee
Written byDavid Auburn
Based onIl Mare
by Kim Eun-jeong
Kim Mi-yeong
StarringKeanu Reeves
Sandra Bullock
Dylan Walsh
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Christopher Plummer
Music byRachel Portman
CinematographyAlar Kivilo
Edited byAlejandro Brodersohn
Lynzee Klingman
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 16, 2006 (2006-06-16)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million[1]
Box office$115 million[1]

The Lake House is a 2006 American science fiction romantic drama film directed by Alejandro Agresti, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock (who had previously appeared together in the box office hit Speed). It was written by David Auburn.[2] A remake of the South Korean motion picture Il Mare (2000), it centers on an architect living in 2004 and a doctor living in 2006 who meet via letters left in a mailbox at the lake house where they have lived at separate points in time. They carry on correspondence over two years, remaining separated by their original difference of two years.[3]


In 2006, Dr. Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) is leaving a lake house that she has been renting in Chicago. Kate leaves a note in the mailbox for the next tenant to forward her mail, adding that the paint-embedded pawprints on the path leading to the house were already there when she arrived.

Two years earlier in 2004, Alex Wyler (Reeves), an architect, arrives at the lake house and finds Kate's letter in the mailbox. The house is neglected, with no sign of paw prints anywhere. During the subsequent restoration of the house, a dog runs through Alex's paint and leaves fresh paw prints right where Kate said they would be. Baffled, Alex writes back, asking how Kate knew about the paw prints since the house was unoccupied until he arrived. On Valentine's Day 2006, Kate witnesses a traffic accident near Daley Plaza and tries to save the male victim, unsuccessfully. She impulsively drives back to the lake house, finds Alex's letter and writes back.

Both Alex and Kate continue passing messages to each other via the mailbox, and each watches its flag go up and down as the message leaves and the reply arrives as they wait at the mailbox. They cautiously look around each time the flag changes, hoping to somehow spot the other. It is in vain as they are alone at the mailbox. They then discover that they are living exactly two years apart. Their correspondence takes them through several events, including Alex finding a book, Jane Austen's Persuasion, at a railway station where Kate said she would have lost it, and Alex taking Kate on a walking tour of his favorite places in Chicago via an annotated map that he leaves in the mailbox. Alex eventually meets Kate at her boyfriend's party, however he doesn't mention their exchange of letters because it had not happened to Kate yet. Kate later remembered the meeting as a vague memory in the past.

As Alex and Kate continue to write to each other, they decide to try to meet again. Alex makes a reservation at the Il Mare restaurant – two years into Alex's future, but only a day away for Kate. Kate goes to the restaurant but Alex fails to show. Heartbroken, Kate asks Alex not to write to her again, recounting the accident a year before. Both Alex and Kate leave the lake house, continuing on with their separate lives.

On Valentine's Day 2006 for Alex, Valentine's Day 2008 for Kate, he returns to the lake house after something about the day triggers a memory. Meanwhile, Kate goes to an architect to review the renovation plans for a house she wants to buy. A drawing of the lake house on the conference room wall catches her attention and upon asking, Henry Wyler informs her the artist was his brother, Alex, and Kate realizes that this was the same Alex with whom she had been corresponding. She also learns that Alex was killed in a traffic accident exactly two years ago to the day and realizes why he never showed up for their date – he was the man who died in Daley Plaza.

Rushing to the lake house, Kate frantically writes a letter telling Alex she loves him, but begs him not to try to find her if he loves her back. Wait two years, she says, and come to the lake house instead. Meanwhile, in 2006, Alex has gone to Daley Plaza to look for Kate.

At the lake house, Kate drops to her knees sobbing, fearing that she has arrived too late to stop Alex. After a long pause, the mailbox flag finally lowers; Alex has picked up her note. Not long afterwards, a familiar mint-green truck pulls up. She walks forward smiling as the driver, clad in jeans and a familiar tan jacket, approaches. She and Alex kiss and walk toward the lake house.



The film is set and filmed in the Chicago area. The lake house itself was built on what is called Maple Lake,[4] located within the Maple Lake Forest Preserve off of 95th Street in the southwest suburb of Chicago: Willow Springs.[5] The house was actually built on dry land and then flooded to appear that it was in the lake. After filming, the house was required to be removed, and a simple fishing dock was put in its place.[4] The downtown scenes are in The Loop. The scenes where Kate and Morgan go to Henry's office, and Kate's dramatic exit down the stairs, were filmed at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The scene where Henry and Alex talk on the street after being in their father's office was filmed on the 400 block of South Michigan Ave, in front of the Fine Arts Building and the Auditorium Theater. The scene where Alex and Simon converse in Simon's home was filmed at the Prairie Avenue Bookshop, an architectural bookstore in Chicago which closed in 2009.[5] Other filming locations include Aurora, Illinois (now the Madison Park community) and Riverside, Illinois, a suburb west of Chicago that is known for its historic houses, and several Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.[6] The railway station in the movie is the real station of Riverside, and the bridge that Alex crosses while chasing Jack is called the "Swinging Bridge"; it crosses the Des Plaines River. The scene where Kate gets stood-up is in Millennium Park at the Park Grill. The bar scene in the Loop where Kate is seen sitting on the barstool, speaking with the woman at the wooden bar, is the real "Millers Pub" located at 134 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60603.


The Lake House: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released in 2006.

The Lake House: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJune 20, 2006
LabelLakeshore Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars link
  1. "This Never Happened Before" – Paul McCartney
  2. "(I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine" – The Clientele
  3. "Time Has Told Me" – Nick Drake
  4. "Ant Farm" – Eels
  5. "It's Too Late" – Carole King
  6. "The Lakehouse" – Rachel Portman
  7. "Pawprints" – Rachel Portman
  8. "Tough Week" – Rachel Portman
  9. "Mailbox" – Rachel Portman
  10. "Sunsets" – Rachel Portman
  11. "Alex's Father" – Rachel Portman
  12. "Il Mare" – Rachel Portman
  13. "Tell Me More" – Rachel Portman
  14. "She's Gone" – Rachel Portman
  15. "Wait For Me" – Rachel Portman
  16. "You Waited" – Rachel Portman
  17. "I Waited" – Rachel Portman

Songs appearing in the film, but not on the soundtrack include:

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


Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $13.6 million, ranking fourth in the United States box office.[7] As of October 1, 2006, it has grossed $52,330,111 domestically and $114,830,111 worldwide.[7]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 35% based on 156 reviews, with a weighted average score of 5.01/10. The site's critical consensus states: "The plot of The Lake House is a little too convoluted, and the film fails to pull off the sweeping romance it aims for."[8] On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 52 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9]

Roger Ebert gave the film its most positive review and ranked it 3.5 stars out of 4, noting that "It succeeds despite being based on two paradoxes: time travel, and the ability of two people to have conversations that are, under the terms established by the film, impossible... What I respond to in the movie is its fundamental romantic impulse." Ebert praised Bullock and Reeves in their respective roles, calling both "enormously likeable". While pointing out the movie's logical inconsistencies, Ebert wrote, "Never mind, I tell you, never mind!" [10]

Writing for USA Today, Claudia Puig described The Lake House as "one of the more befuddling movies of recent years. The premise makes no sense, no matter how you turn it around in your head."[11]

Home media[edit]

The Lake House was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD on September 26, 2006 by Warner Home Video.[12] It was the first film to be simultaneously released on all three formats on the same day, and Warner became the first studio to issue a title in this manner.[13] The single-disc DVD was initially available for region 1 territories only, in both widescreen and full-screen editions with 480i resolution. Special features included were additional deleted scenes, outtakes, and the film's theatrical trailer. A region 2 compatible version was later released on October 9. The Blu-ray was also a single-disc release but with 1080i resolution and not region locked.


Association Ceremony Date Category Recipient Results
Teen Choice Awards 2006 Choice Liplock The Lake House Won[14]


  1. ^ a b "The Lake House". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Bullock back with Reeves for 'Il Mare'". The Hollywood Reporter. January 19, 2005. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Dunkley, Cathy (March 24, 2003). "Auburn has flair for 'Mare'". Variety. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "The top houses from the movies". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on April 16, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Becker, Lynn (2006). True, Alison (ed.). "A Legacy Destroyed" (PDF). Architecture. Chicago Reader. 35 (42). Michael Crystal (published July 14, 2006). pp. 13–14. ISSN 1096-6919. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Handley, John (April 3, 2005). "Aurora stars as movie location". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Lake House (2006) Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Lake House (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Lake House (2006)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 15, 2006). "The Lake House movie review & film summary (2006)". Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Puig, Claudia (June 15, 2006). "Illogical 'Lake House' sinks into absurdity". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  12. ^ "Warner Home Video Makes a Triple-Play with Release of The Lake House in Three Formats on September 26; Marks the First Title to be Simultaneously Released on Standard DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray". Business Wire. September 13, 2006. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "Warner Debuts First Title in HD DVD, Blu-ray and Standard". TV Technology. Future US. August 9, 2006. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  14. ^ "2006 Teen Choice Awards - Press Room". Getty Images. August 20, 2006. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.

External links[edit]