17 January 2009

Keanu Reeves in "The Lake House"

Keanu Reeves as Ted "Theodor" Logan as Alex Wyler
Christopher Plummer as Simon Wyler
Eban Moss-Bachrach as Henry Wyler

Reeves and Bullock team up again in this supernatural story about a mailbox that sends letters though time. Reeves is Alex, a contractor who was trained as an architect under the supervision of his starchitect/professor father Simon. When we first meet the father, he is teaching a design studio at an unknown Chicago school. The professor's youngest son, Henry is in this course and starts to explain his project's concept to his father...

Bowtie? Check.
Drawings of ionic columns? Check.

Henry: Obviously I derived my inspiration from the metophor of The Louvre ...[pauses]...uh, yeah...

They scene abruptly cuts, but they imply through dialog in the next scene that the father stood their for two hours without speaking in order to humiliate his son. Which is what all good architecture professors do when they aren't busy either making students cry, setting models on fire, or speaking only in words that they read in their bedside thesaurus the previous night.

To cool down from the ordeal, the brother goes out to get a beer with his older bro, Alex, who has been absent from the family for a few years. Alex goes on to explain to Henry what hes been doing....

Henry: Condos?
Alex: I don't believe it. I come back after 4 years and I get this infront of me.
Henry: What?
Alex: My little brother thining he's Frank Lloyd Whatever.
Henry: Ah, Come on!
Alex: Dad keeps you hostage in that myth-making factory of his, but you still haven't built so much as a telephone booth or a hamster cage.
Henry: That's funny you say that actually, I have a hamster cage in mind. A development of them actually. Prefab, no foundations, What do you think about that?
Alex: See? That's what I'm talking about! You have visions. Speaking of which, I bought a house...

Its like Speed, but in a house. Over a long drawn out 4 years. And no explosions. But Keanu and Sandra do kiss in the end.

When Alex shows his little brother the house for the first time, a house that their father built for the family in the 70's, before their mom left the father...

Henry: When did he build it?
Alex: You weren't born and I was 8.
Henry: Corbusier meets Frank Lloyd Wright
Alex: Did you know, dad played cards with both of them.

Probably more like Corbusier meets the Victorian era. In truth, the stage that was built as the house had no toilets or running water. Seriously.

Alex: There should be a stairway down to the water, a porch, a deck. Here, you're in a - in a box. A glass box with a view to everything that's around you... but you can't touch it. No interconnection between you and what you're looking at.
Henry: I don't know, you know. He's got this big maple growing right in the middle of the house.
Alex: Containment.
[He pushes a button which opens a glass door]
Alex: Containment and control. This house is about ownership, not connection. I mean, it's beautiful. Seductive, even. But, it's incomplete.
[He pauses]
Alex: It was all about him. Dad knew how to build a house, not a home. But you know... I think he wants us to do what he couldn't. But, admitting that would mean admitting that he came up short in some way... that he could do more. And that tortures him.
Henry: Do you remembering being here with Mom?
Alex: I remember she tried to make it work here... with us... with him.

In this next scene, Ted hatches a plan to travel back in time to nab Core-Bus-Air for his architectural history thesis.

In the series of letters that Alex sends Sandra through the film, they get to know each other. When asked to discribe his favorite things, Alex writes, "For me its this city. On a day when the light is so clear I can touch every detail, every brick and window of the buildings I love..."

He then goes on to include in his next magical care package for her a map of Chicago with all of his favorite buildings on it in hopes that shes goes on a walking tour of the city and shares in his joys. She does. Along the path he drew for her, he spray painted a note for her (two years in the past, remember the magical timetraveling mailbox?) on the side of a building that reads, "(Sandra), I'm walking with you right now." Really, this seems like a jerk thing to do, defacing the buildings that he loves in the city that he love. I guess that the light wasn't so clear that day.

Customized walking tour maps are like the mixed tape of the architecture world, when you want to tell a girl how special she is.


  1. where do i find that map? i want to go see what they saw

  2. I would like to know if this map exists. i live in australia and the walk was my favorite part of movie and would love to go on the walk.
    can someone let me know.
    thanks :D

  3. What a stupid movie, Keanu Reeves does an awful work with this piece of crap. I hope Keanu learns from his mistakes.

  4. i'd love to have the floorplan of the house... :/ :(

  5. It is a nice film, not his best, but a very good one, it is nice to see him in roles like this one.

  6. I'd also like to know where?if I could gt a copy of the walk map, gonna be visiting soon.