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5 Reasons Why The Lake House Is An Underrated Romantic Movie

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in the The Lake House
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

When you think of the best romantic movies, you immediately think of films like The Notebook, Titanic, Sleepless in Seattle, and many more. One-hundred people could name 100 great romance movies, and The Lake House starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock may not appear once. This is an injustice.

Is The Lake House the best romantic movie of all time? No. Is it Sandra Bullock’s best movie that focuses on romance? No. Is it the best movie set in a lake house? No. The Lake House is, however, a great romantic movie that doesn’t get enough discussion from romance enthusiasts. Let’s discuss why the movie is great.

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in The Lake House

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Lake House Is The On-Screen Reunion Of Keanu Reeves And Sandra Bullock

It was 1994 and Speed was a massive success. It also starred two young stars, Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Generally, Speed is one of the really great action movies of the ‘90s. One reason for the film’s greatness is the chemistry between its leads.

This is also one of the many reasons why Speed 2 was such a bad decision. It brought back Bullock, but Reeves was nowhere to be found. Fans of Bullock and Reeves’s chemistry wanted to see them on-screen again. 

Twelve years later, these fans would get their wish. Bullock and Reeves have an enduring friendship, and it comes across well on-screen. Over a decade later, the actors still radiate when in scenes together. You don’t care that they’re interacting (somehow) while two years apart, you want them to find a way to make it work. 

We as viewers deserve another Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock on-screen reunion, even if that means Speed 3.

Sandra Bullock in The Lake House

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

It Is A Story With Magic That Keeps It Simple

There are so many great movies about time-loops, time-travel, bending time, and all things that deal with time manipulation. These films also set a series of rules about changing events and how that can be dangerous. The Lake House basically says, "We don’t care about any of that stuff. We’re just going to do what we want!"

Now, I am actually a bit of a nerd about time travel, time-loops, alternative universes, and all that jazz. Those are some of my favorite fictional stories. However, I was willing to put my nerd glasses down and just accept that The Lake House wasn’t trying to make sense.

A lot of The Lake House makes no sense if you think time should work a certain way, even based on your knowledge of time shenanigans in movies. I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone who has never seen it, but the ending is very confusing if you look at it from a logical perspective. 

However, if you look at the ending and time in The Lake House from a dreamy romance viewpoint, it’s quite beautiful. 

To me, The Lake House is saying that these magical, unexplainable things happen all the time in the world. You just have to be open enough to allow them to happen. You can find love and magic, but you have to let it come to you. It also says that life is precious, but sometimes patience is key to what you really want.

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in The Lake House

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Lake House Hits All The Classic Romantic Notes

Many romance movies must have a checklist of romantic cliches that they must hit. Heck, the Hallmark Channel has made an entire formula on them. I am not knocking romantic cliches. I love them, and clearly, The Lake House does, too.

Let’s discuss some of them. There is an obligatory dance sequence. Then we have the big final kiss, and the racing to find the person you truly love. We also have major obstacles. This time it comes in the form of them being separated by time, and we later discover an even bigger problem with their future. 

We get the perfect pop soundtrack that summarizes what the characters are feeling. We even get the other love interest who is okay-ish, but just not the right one. The Lake House gives us so many timeless romantic film tropes, and it's perfect.

Keanu Reeves in The Lake House

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

It’s A Love Letter To Chicago

Chicago has been the backdrop for many great films. Some films embrace the city and others just have it be there. As someone who grew up in Chicago and often visits, I judge the accuracy of its portrayal pretty harshly. Get it right, or change the setting.

The Lake House shows the beauty of the city. It also made me giddy to recognize so many places from it as areas that I visit often. As Alex (Keanu Reeves) shows Kate (Sandra Bullock) the wonders of the city, the film is also allowing the viewers a little taste of it as well. It’s nice to see Chicago get the same kind of love that cities like Los Angeles, London, New York, and Paris get in movies.

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in The Lake House

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Lake House Asks The Timeless Question: Wait For A Perfect Match Or Settle Now?

I believe that if not married by their late 20s, many women and men have (at least at one point), asked themselves: Should I settle for someone who I like enough or should I wait for my perfect match? The answer differs per person, and no one should feel bad for settling. The dating world is hard. We understand.

However, the beauty of romance movies is that sometimes a magic mailbox leads you to your soulmate. Morgan (Dylan Walsh) isn’t the worst. He’s exceptionally average. He’s also clearly not the one for Kate, but he’s at least dependable.

Kate wants to be with Alex, but the whole pesky inability to coordinate a time to meet two years in advance keeps being a problem. Eventually, Kate must decide whether to get more serious with Morgan or risk it all for Alex.

As stated, I won’t spoil the film, but it’s a romance movie, and the answer is going to be to go for Alex. Romance heroines never settle in the end. They get the man or woman that they truly love. We need that big final embrace, after all.

The Lake House is far from a perfect movie, romance or otherwise, but it’s a very compelling romantic drama. If it can stop me from pushing up my glasses and going, “Actually, there is no way that this would work based on movie time-rules,” then that’s a film I can support. The Lake House is currently available to stream on Netflix. It might not be one of the best Netflix movies streaming in May 2022, but it's definitely one of the romances streaming there that you should see.

If you enjoy The Lake House, you can also watch the original film Il Mare on Amazon Prime.

The Lake House is far from a perfect movie, romance or otherwise, but it’s a very compelling romantic drama. If it can stop me from pushing up my glasses and going, “actually, there is no way that this would work based on movie time rules,” then that’s a film I can support. The Lake House is currently available to stream on Netflix. It’s one of the best Netflix movies streaming in May 2022.

If you enjoy The Lake House, you can also watch the original film Il Mare on Amazon Prime.

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.