Disclaimer: If the paradox in 'The Terminator 2' had you climbing the walls; if the time travel concept in 'Somewhere in Time' had you tossing your popcorn at the screen; if the aurora borealis in 'Frequency' had you wishing you were anywhere else other than the theater, then 'The Lake House' is definitely not your cask of Coke, and you should stop reading now.
But if you like the idea of triumphs, soul mates, and rectifying past mistakes, then settle in and read on.
In 'The Lake House,' two lonely souls literally defy the laws of time and space to share their thoughts, feelings, and reflections because they could not connect to anyone else in their own realm, all the while falling in love. The screenwriters seem to have had a window into the hearts of many a lonely creature for they created such a loving and moving experience that they must have wanted to shout from the rooftops that true love can transcend the physical limitations of this world and will come to those who are patient.
Your enjoyment comes on many levels - watching the slow but gentle romance blossom, and with it, all the heartbreak of situations gone awry; and keeping track of the numerous time shifts, making sure the screenwriters and editors didn't miscalculate what happened when for improbable consequences. For example, the opening sequence deliberately misdirects you into thinking this is going to be a traditional boy-meets-girl fare, but only gradually do you realize that the laws of physics are being misshapen and bent, but by this time, you're hooked and on the edge of your seat desperately hoping for the traditional Hollywood ending. By the film's end, I was using my sweatshirt sleeve as a hankie.
Keanu Reeves is an actor of limited range, and I mean that in a good way. I think he realizes his limitations and seeks roles that suit his style. His limitations work to his advantage here - as an emotionally bottled architect/builder seeking solitude in an isolated all-glass house by a lake. Sandra Bullock's performance is reminiscent of her Lucy in 'While You Where Sleeping.' And the two have believable chemistry. Unfortunately, there are a couple of needless subplots; fortunately, they don't detract too badly from the execution of this love story.
I believe the house (and its magical mail box) is a metaphor, forcing us to look within ourselves and being exposed and vulnerable to the elements around us. And these two took a look.
This is a movie that warrants opening up your wallet now, to catch on the big screen, and again, when it comes out on DVD, so you can watch and watch and watch to bask in its magical love story glow.