The Lake House (film)

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The Lake House
Directed by Alejandro Agresti
Produced by Doug Davison
Roy Lee
Screenplay by David Auburn
Based on Il Mare 
by Kim Eun-jeong
Kim Mi-yeong
Starring Keanu Reeves
Sandra Bullock
Dylan Walsh
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Christopher Plummer
Music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography Alar Kivilo
Editing by Alejandro Brodersohn
Lynzee Klingman
Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
Vertigo Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • June 16, 2006 (2006-06-16)
Running time 105 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $114,830,111 [1]

The Lake House is a 2006 American romantic drama directed by Alejandro Agresti and starring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Christopher Plummer. It was written by David Auburn. The film is a remake of the South Korean motion picture Il Mare (2000). The story centers on an architect living in 2004 and a doctor living in 2006. The two meet via letters left in a mailbox at the lake house they have both lived in at separate points in time; they carry on correspondence over two years, remaining separated by their original difference of two years. For Alex the time goes from 2004 to 2006. For Kate the time goes from 2006 to 2008.

This film reunites Reeves and Bullock for the first time since they co-starred in Speed in 1994.


In 2006. Dr. Kate Forster is leaving a lake house that she has been renting in suburban Wisconsin to move to Chicago. Kate leaves a note in the mailbox for the next tenant to forward her letters should some slip through the system, further adding that the paint-embedded pawprints on the walkway leading into the house were already there when she arrived.

Two years earlier, in 2004, Alex Wyler, an architect, arrives at the lake house and finds Kate's letter in the mailbox. The house is neglected, with no sign of pawprints anywhere. As Alex restores the house, a dog runs through his paint and leaves fresh pawprints right where Kate said they would be. Both Alex and Kate continue passing messages to each other via the mailbox, and each watch its flag go up and down as the message leaves and the reply arrives, which takes place as they wait at the mailbox. They cautiously look around each time the flag changes, hoping to somehow spot the other, but in vain they do not, as they are alone at the mailbox.

Baffled, Alex writes back, asking how Kate knew about the pawprints since the house was unoccupied before he arrived. An equally perplexed Kate writes back, and she and Alex discover that they are living exactly two years apart. Their correspondence takes them through several events, including Alex finding a book, Persuasion, at a train station where Kate said she had 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 and Kate eventually meet at a party, but he doesn't mention their letter relationship to her as for her, it hasn't happened yet.

As Alex and Kate continue to write each other, they decide to try to meet again. Alex makes a reservation at Il Mare (Italian for "The Sea"), a restaurant whose name is a homage to the original Korean motion picture, for around March 2007 — two years in 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 her again, recounting a tragedy a year ago before, on Valentine's Day 2006, when she witnessed a traffic accident near Daley Plaza and held a man who died in her arms. Both Alex and Kate leave the lake house, continuing on with their separate lives.

A year later, on Valentine's Day 2006 for Alex, Valentine's Day 2008 for Kate, Alex returns to the lake house after something about the day triggers his memory. Meanwhile, Kate goes to an architect to review renovation plans for a house she wants to buy. She notices a drawing of the lake house on the conference room wall and learns that Alex Wyler — the same person with whom she'd been corresponding — had drawn it. 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 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 Alex has gone to Daley Plaza to find Kate.

At the lake house, Kate sobs, clutching onto the mailbox stand, sure she was too late, but then the mailbox flag lowers; Alex has picked up her note. Soon, she sees a vehicle arriving and then a figure walking toward her. It is Alex. They walk toward each other. Kate says, "You waited!" She and Alex kiss, then 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, located within the Maple Lake Forest Preserve off of 95th Street in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. After filming the house was later removed and a simple fishing dock was put in its place. The downtown scenes are in The Loop. The scene where Kate and Morgan go to Henry's office, and Kate's dramatic exit down the stairs was 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. Other filming location include Aurora, Illinois (now the Madison Park community) & Riverside, Illinois, a small town on the outskirts of Chicago known for its historic houses, and several Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. The train station in the movie is the real station of Riverside, and the bridge that Alex crosses, chasing Jack is called the "Swinging Bridge". It crosses the Des Plaines River. The lake house itself was built for the movie and dismantled after filming completed.[2]


The Lake House: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Rachel Portman
Released June 20, 2006
Genre Soundtrack
Label Lakeshore Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link

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

  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 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[edit]

According to the website Rotten Tomatoes, 35% of the critics gave the movie a positive review.

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.


  1. ^ The Lake House (2006) – Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "The top houses from the movies". Daily Telegraph. 

External links[edit]