Monday, 20 August 2007

The Shit House

Another awesome title. Am I on a roll or what? I’m like a not-very-bright copyeditor for Entertainment Weekly.

Anyway, we saw The Lake House last night, and as my title suggests, it was pretty crap. We watched it at the Admiral’s behest, I hasten to add, because of his fondness for Neo and his penchant for convoluted time-travel nonsense (here rendered even more ridiculously than usual because apparently 50-year-old post-menopausal women will buy any kind of time-related paradox as long as there’s a scene of Keanu Reeves crying). It’s quite dour, but there’s no discernable reason for it to be, especially because it ends happily (sorry, did I ruin it?). The Admiral admitted, quite endearingly, that if he’d watched it when he was 15, he would have sobbed the whole way through (I failed to admit that, when I watched the sappy remake of City of Angels as a 15-year-old, I did cry all the way through, and not just out of sheer joy when Meg Ryan gets run over by a bus). It wasn’t awful, certainly, but it was entirely humorless and it struggled to make its 90-minute running time – mostly by giving us lots of shots of people staring pensively into the distance. (Staring Through Time – now there’s a title.)

In short, I’m glad we waited for it to come on Sky Movies. Oh, and Christopher Plummer is entirely wasted as Keanu’s Bad Dad (who has, as Keanu explains, the grin of an architect. How this is different from, say, the leer of a sous-chef or the rictus smile of an ophthalmologist is left entirely unexplained).

The Lake House Stats:

Most Nonsensical Attempted Joke: “Oh, we have a comedian! What, did you eat clown for breakfast?” (??? As opposed to what? Eggs?)

Most Forced, Unconvincing Architect-Speak From Keanu: “Containment and control. This house is about ownership, not connection. I mean, it's beautiful. Seductive, even. But it's incomplete.”

Most Searing Indictment of Bad Dad: “He could build a house. But he couldn’t build a home.”

Scariest Line Spoken by Shohreh Aghdashloo (i.e., Emphysema Breath): “Your father had a heart attack. He is now stable.”

Number of Nose-Wrinkles and Daffy Asides from “Sandy”: Four. Quite restrained, on the whole.

++++

Update: My mom writes in with a helpful fact-check: "Meg was actually downed by a truck hauling logs, not a bus! And I think she actually paper-dolled herself on the truck; he was just making a slow left turn into her exuberant joy of life. But then, of course, it gave Nicolas the opportunity to do his look of sad-eyed horsey-faced silent pain."

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