A couple of weeks ago, I watched the movie Jumper for some reason. Oh man! That is the best movie. I mean, that is a terrible movie, but it is also ridiculous and hilarious and a lot of fun. Like, I enjoyed Jumper so much that I felt angry at the end of Jumper that I didn’t see Jumper a year ago when it came out, because that’s an entire year of amazing Jumper jokes that I have missed out on. Welcome to the war, you guys. Palladins stink! “You’re not a hero, you’re a Jumper!” “He tried to jump a whole building, and it killed him.” Fact: the best way to kill a Jumper is to electric wire him to a tree in the jungle and hand-eviscerate him with a hunting knife. Fact: at one point they Jumper to Chechnya. Fact: I am so excited for Jumper 2: Jumpgement Day.

I was sort of looking forward to watching The Lake House because I thought maybe it was going to be like Jumper: a wealth of stupid but incredible gems buried in a poorly imagined romance. Nope! Poorly imagined romance and stupidity, yes, but buried in a boring, incredibly predictable plot and starring two middle-aged Robots with incomplete Facial Expression Technology.

The Lake House is about an architect turned condominium developer, Keanu Reeves, who moves into an old lake house that looks like something out of Dr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Did Doozer’s build that thing?

Anyway, when he arrives at his new home he finds a letter in the mailbox from the previous tenant explaining some of the quirks about the place (paw prints on the front walkway, a box in the attic, you know, important things a new tenant should know about) and hoping that whoever is moving in enjoys the house as much as she did. But there aren’t any paw prints on the front walkway, and there is no box in the attic. And besides, no one has lived in that lake house for years!


Keanu Reeves writes back, explaining that he doesn’t understand what she is talking about, and blah blah blah, let’s cut to the point: THE MAILBOX IS A MAGICAL TIME MACHINE MAILBOX THAT TRANSPORTS LETTERS AND SCARVES FORWARD AND BACKWARD EXACTLY TWO YEARS THROUGH TIME. And so naturally, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock fall in love (when they should be mailing themselves to Germany, and KILLING HITLER). They write each other magical time travel letters back and forth, each of them more boring and insipid than the next. “I love long walks on the beach.” “No way, I love long walks on the beach. Fate is crazy.” One day, Sandra Bullock sees a man get hit by a bus and she tries to resuscitate him but he dies. Well that was weird. I’m sure that won’t show up later in the movie as a plot point.

Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves’s dad is a famous architect who refers to himself in the third person, and also he built the lake house, and later he dies. Because it’s life, jump into life.

Eventually they make a date for two years in the future, and “the best restaurant in the city,” but Keanu Reeves stands Sandra Bullock up, and she writes a like “I can’t do this ridiculous thing anymore that I’ve been doing for a really long time without any problem because no one stands up baby in the corner,” and she asks Keanu Reeves to stop past/future magic writing her. It never crosses her mind that maybe he didn’t show up because in two years he would be dead. Who knows how. People die all the time. They get hit by buses, or just whatever. Could be anything. That was just a random example. So, Keanu Reeves puts his letters in a box in the attic (WHOA!). And he rents the lake house to Sandra Bullock’s boyfriend. And he gives Sandra Bullock his dog (huh?). Meanwhile, in 2006, or maybe it is 2008 now? I have no idea. It’s 1992. Who cares. Sandra Bullock is going to finally go ahead and marry this guy that she has been stringing along for years and obviously doesn’t like and who we, the audience, just know is SO WRONG for her, but when she goes to a really fancy architectural firm to discuss renovation plans for a giant house she is going to buy, she sees a drawing Keanu Reeves did of the lake house and she starts rubbing the edge of the frame like she wants to have sex with the drawing and Keanu Reeves brother is like “he died, exactly one year ago today, in a bus accident.” And then he quietly whispers “you idiot.” Sandra Bullock runs out of the building and she races to the lake house and she quickly puts a letter into the time travel mail box that says “DO NOT GET HIT BY A BUS” and Keanu Reeves walks out of some wheat in whatever the fuck year it even is now, dressed like Professor Turtleneck, and they get married.

One thing that I guess is a saving grace of this movie is that they never even bother explaining where that goddamned mail box comes from. Or why Sandra Bullock didn’t give Keanu Reeves some information on the World Series so that he could open Biff’s.

I mean, when it comes to time travel, always go full retard.

They also never bother explaining the classic time travel plot hole that goes something like this: On Valentine’s Day, 2006, Keanu Reeves gets hit by a bus in Daly Plaza and dies in Sandra Bullock’s arms. Later that year, in a letter to past Keanu Reeves back in 2004, Sandra Bullock talks about how a man got hit by a bus and died in her arms on Valentine’s Day, 2006. Later, back in past-future 2006, when Keanu Reeves wants to find Sandra Bullock, he remembers from her letter that she is in Daly Plaza on Valentine’s Day, so he goes there and gets hit by a bus (again). Then, in 2007 (I think?), Sandra Bullock finds out that Keanu Reeves got hit by a bus on Valentine’s Day, 2006, and she races to the lake house and writes a letter to Keanu Reeves (in 2005?) that says “Careful around buses next year, please,” and Keanu Reeves is careful around buses and doesn’t get hit by a bus and walks out of some wheat wearing America’s Favorite Turtleneck, and they get married. Sure. EXCEPT, if Sandra Bullock writes a letter to Keanu Reeves telling him not to get hit by a bus and it stops him from getting hit by a bus, then she will never write the first letter telling him about the bus accident, and he wouldn’t bother trying to get hit by a bus in the first place, so she wouldn’t know to write him this letter. An entire sequence of events would take place that would basically Butterfly Effect everything else, and who even knows if Keanu Reeves would ever buy that turtleneck.

Forget it, Gabe, it’s Time Travel Town.

But there are some other things that they could probably have explained. Like, if in 2006, Sandra Bullock sends the first letter back to 2004 as she is leaving the lake house to go live in an apartment in Chicago, then how does she get Keanu Reeves’s response letter? Does she occasionally go back to the lake house in the middle of nowhere, where she does not live–and where she fully expects there to be new tenants, thus the letter to the new tenants–in order to check for any mail? That seems inconvenient. Of course, that’s not even close to as inconvenient as it must become when she enters into this frantic time travel pen pal relationship and is going back out to the lake house where she continues to not live multiple times a day in order to exchange magical letters with her ancient lover. She has more free time for magic letter writing and magic letter sending than any doctor I have ever known. “Dear Keanu Reeves, all of my patients are dead. Whoops! Well, I better get going now so that I can drive an hour and a half to the magic mailbox and send this to you.” And Keanu Reeves lives in the lake house for, like, a year and a half before leaving, so that puts us at, like, mid 2005, and by winter 2006 Sandra Bullock is already moved out, so she ended up living in the lake house for six months? If I lived somewhere for six months I would not bother leaving a letter for the new tenants, regardless of whether the letter was a time travel letter. “What’s this? Oh, a letter from a short-term subletter. I am sure this will be important. Pass me the garbage can, please.”

Speaking of letter writing, this is supposedly how the two of them write letters to each other:

I don’t care if you have a magical time travel mailbox that delivers your letters FOUR YEARS INTO THE PAST, you can’t interrupt each other via letter.

But perhaps the greatest mystery of The Lake House is why anyone would love either of these jerks.

They are the most humorless Botox faces on Earth. And if I were Keanu Reeves, I would be pretty wary of someone who basically cheats on her boyfriend with the first man who sits down next to her on the porch, even if he is secretly from the future (or he’s from the past? AY-AY-AY) and she doesn’t realize it. (On the other hand, she is dating someone who invites a complete stranger to his girlfriend’s birthday party just because the stranger happened to chase his dog onto the lawn. SIDENOTE: is the dog also magic? We will have to wait for The Lake House 2: In Tha Dog House: Full Throttle to find out, but I believe the answer is yes.)

Of course, The Lake House is actually a remake of a Korean film of the same basic plot called Il Mare. So blame it on Korea, I guess. Although, in Korea’s defense, this movie would have been nuts if Keanu Reeves was in 1998 and Sandra Bullock was in the year 2000. Future apples and past oranges.

Next week: The Road to Wellville. As always, please leave your suggestions in the comments or in an email. And if you haven’t done so already, please consult the Official Rules.

Comments (118)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in the Speed reunion that literally no one asked for!

  3. “A comedian! What did you have, a clown for breakfast this morning?”
    - a line a screenwriter actually wrote down and made Sandra Bullock say

    • You know your relationship is doing well when one of you casually accuses the other of being a cannibal.

    • That line is so stupid it almost comes back around to being cool… almost.

      The best part is that she sent that line to Keanu in a letter. In other words, this isn’t just something she blurted out; it’s the result of hours or days worth of work coming up with a perfect retort to send back to Keanu.


  4. Casey  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +57

    That Biff’s joke was choice, Gabe. Choice!

    • Agreed. My method for reading these at work is to copy and paste the text really quicky to notepad, reading that first, and then returning to the site when my boss isn’t paying attention so I can see the pictures, which is pretty pointless considering I usually burst out laughing the moment I see them. You’d think I could wait the hour and read them when I get home.

  5. Magical mailbox-ing is how I met my girlfriend. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, Gabe.

  6. You didn’t ask the most important question: When is the lake house? Get Faraday on this.

  7. boo  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +12

    Oh my god, I know it’s cliched to say Keanu Reeves is a bad actor, but COME ON.

  8. I often find myself sitting on a bench and walking around talking to myself… you know, letter writing.

  9. sally  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +5

    literally wept with laughter at the doozers pic. you’re the best, gabe.

  10. thank you for addressing the end of this movie. i’ve TRIED to explain why it’s impossible and ridiculous to several people who love this movie, but they’re blind to its flaws!


    that was just me going crazy.
    sometimes, i feel like the only person in the world with a normal face and everyone else has a pig face, but i feel like the weird one because i’m different.
    except here, on videogum, where everything is drenched in the appropriate amount of levelheaded realism and snark.

  11. Yeah a few different people were given not-insubstantial amounts of American currency to write, speak, and record that line. Big :(

  12. So do they write letters to each other one sentence at a time as if they were texting as opposed to writing actual letters?

  13. If we’re doing recommendations, I call Get Rich or Die Tryn’ (if of course, the Glitter and Crossroads rule doesn’t apply). If it does, I instead call Twilight. Seriously Gabe, you have to see this movie, it’s truly terrible. I’ve seen it, now I can never un-see it.

  14. This was seriously the best Worst Movie yet. So funny, and yet it also made me want to go and re-watch my early teens fave, “Somewhere in Time” (Christopher Reeve! Something about a magic penny!)

  15. mark  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +70

    Dies in a bus crash? Speed 3: The Lakehouse.

  16. So, is Britney going to discover this mailbox and start writing to Hitler?

  17. neptuneflame  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +88

    I always wondered why this was called The Lake House and not The Mailbox, which is what my dad thinks it’s called.

  18. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • langford  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 0

      Usually I agree with my fellow Videogummers and lol at people who dislike good movies, but honestly, I’m going to have to second the nomination for American Beauty. It romanticizes being a melodramatic douche and it is everything wrong with the world.

  19. I can’t wait till Caligula gets the WMOAT treatment. How can a proper film produced by Penthouse not be the worst movie of all time? I feel bad for Helen Mirren.

    • every third time i log into netflix they say “based on the movies you’ve enjoyed we think you’ll enjoy caligula.” which sends me into a spiral of shame. the last thing i got from netflix was season one of “designing women”, so i’m choosing to believe their viewers advisory tool is flawed.

  20. This movie is so bad! Thank you Gabe. I will say that whenever I see Sandra Bullock on a talk show or something, I really enjoy her. Why does she do such shit movies? Nevermind, I put a letter in my mailbox for her, I should get an answer soon.

  21. Mabuk  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +11

    Say what you will, but Sandra Bullock is just as cute and twee at seventy years young…

  22. The first video you have in this post might just be the trailer for that facebook movie.

  23. I thought this whole time that “The Lake House” was a sequel to “Constantine.” Thanks to Gabe’s review I now know that I was right. (An aside: I apologize to the viewing public for repeatedly nominating “Crash” for WMOAT even though Gave had already reviewed it like 29 years ago. I just never dug that deeply into the archives because I am lazy trailer trash like that.)

  24. -Whatcha doin?
    -Oh, just writing a letter to my girlfriend.
    -You have a girlfriend?
    -Yeah, you wouldn’t know her; she’s from the future.

  25. I haven’t even read this yet and I already feel JUSTICE.

  26. Please do either of the Ocean’s Eleven sequels. They do not make a shred of goddamn sense.

  27. Finally I get a Fraggle Rock reference. Thank you.

  28. I just saw Somewhere in Time a few weeks ago! It was ridiculous, and not, in fact, about a magic penny. Christopher Reeve literally wills himself back in time, but then an ordinary (not magic) penny ends up being his demise, somehow. Anyway, I think this is one of the best Worst Movie features, too. I LOL’d so much that I now feel the urge to use internet abbrevs, which I never do, BTW.

  29. courtney  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 -8

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  30. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Where is the Infinity Downvotes button on this thing?

    • Rachel  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 -2

      I know… Rosemary’s Baby was such a let down. I’m not sure if it was because it was so hyped up and everyone raved about it to me or if it really did suck. Questions, Questions

      • hotspur  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2009 +4

        kath11, rewatch Rosemary’s Baby as a very, very dark comedy and maybe you’ll like it better. It isn’t really horror like The Exorcist or The Ring or Nell are horror (Gabe, do Nell!).

      • hotspur  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2009 0

        Rachel & kath11, rewatch Rosemary’s Baby as a very, very dark comedy and maybe you’ll like it better. It isn’t really horror like The Exorcist, or The Ring, or Nell starring Jodi Foster (Gabe, do Nell!).

  31. buenosueno  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 -12

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  32. Sal  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 +21

    I’m actually thinking of changing my name to Professor Turtleneck now.

  33. Jeeze, Gabe. What, did you EAT A CLOWN FOR BREAKFAST or something?

  34. I don’t think anyone who watched this movie ever knew what the fuck was happening. Someone told me they cried when Keanu Reeves died at the end.

  35. Keanu: “Say, have you ever read this masterpiece of literature that our movie has stolen from in the laziest and most depressingly literal fashion?”
    Sandra: “As a matter of fact, I have, and It turns out that it is HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, actually.”

    Um, physician, heal yourself, because you have a terrible case of what those of us in the softer sciences like to call psychological projection.

  36. I know there is a lot of inexplicable love on these pages for Halloween 3, and I’ve been voted down multiple times for suggesting it. Still, and with all due respect to Tom Atkins and his marvelous mustache, I believe that a Gabe penned rundown of that film would be fantastic.

  37. The Road to Wellville?!?

    If I remember correctly (and there’s nothing to say that I actually do), that movie was fucking batshit insane.

  38. If i was the director of this movie i would’ve given the sandra bullock from the future a hoverboard.. y’know, to make it more believable.

  39. So critical Gabe. Did you eat a critic for breakfast or something?

  40. I really can’t suggest “The Knowing” as WMOAT enough.

    You know what the best part of hearing the call of the angel-aliens who will carpool you to the magic secret spot anyway, thus rendering the ENTIRE PLOT IRRELEVANT? You get a fucking bunny rabbit. But not you, Nick Cage. You didn’t get a magic rock or believe in god.

  41. publican  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 -19

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  42. publican  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 -15

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  43. Nominating Michael for WMOAT. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117038/

    Because he’s an angel, not a saint! Or …what? Also feather death, and Andie Macdowell being THE WORST.
    Also there’s this scene.

  44. tom  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 +5

    “All of my patients are dead. Whoops!” Man, this movie would be so awesome if at that point in the film it took a drastic plot turn and was about the aftermath of her patients’ deaths. And she has to write Keenu to instruct him how to keep her patients alive so she doesn’t go the jail in futureland. And she’s writing these letters from prison! What a fantastic new detail!

    I’m so confused.

  45. jdar  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 +35

    “He tried to blog a whole Lake House, and it killed him.”

    R.I.P. Gabe
    He’s exercising, painting, and blogging in a better place.

  46. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I think it was about Woody Harrelson’s wig taking drugs and trying to make Keanu Reeves’ face emotable through the use of paint by numbers animation.

  47. Hollywood does not learn from it’s time traveling mistakes:


  48. jules  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 +21

    Every time Gabe does the Ay-Ay-Ay thing I think it’s this,
    then am slightly disappointed (with myself)

    • Ahaha I give you all my points, forever, miss. How does a song that basically just says “Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay!” keep going for four minutes straight? Wow.

    • anxiously anticipating Confide’s cover.

      also, if jules’ comment rating doesn’t go up to infinity in the next 24 hours, there will be hell to pay. if everyone could just eat a clown for breakfast and click on the link.

  49. joshua  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 +6


  50. I had successfully blocked this movie from my memory. Thanks for ruining it, Gabe.

  51. Speaking of going back in time and KILLING HITLER, I am gonna go ahead and nominate VALKYRIE for the next round. Oh man, you guys. Tom Cruise is a good Nazi! Bryan Singer is involved for some reason! It’s boring, but also poorly acted, but also Tom Wilkenson is sort of good, which makes you yearn for something better that might have been!

  52. Steeze  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 +4

    “…(when they should be mailing themselves to Germany, and KILLING HITLER).”

    I tried to smother the laughter at work but no, they all heard me. Thank you for making me look like a crazy person. No, seriously, thank you.

  53. Rachel  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 +1

    I once again humbly nominate Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (another Keanu Reeves masterpiece). Seriously, must watch the horror which has nothing to do with the undead.

  54. I caught this movie called ‘Rogue’ on cable a few wknds ago. It is with Michael Vartan and Radha Mitchell, and it is called Rogue, because it is about a crocodile. Gone Rogue. It. Is. HILARIOUS. I was laughing so hard I was crying and yelling at the television and actually applauding. It’s one of those rare treats like Big Wet Shark, I mean Deep Blue Sea, where it goes so far into being The Worst that it jumps the shark and time travels back two years in a mailbox to arrive in your lap, funnier than anything you’ve ever seen. The crocodile in the movie is roughly the size of a C-17 and the way it SPOILER ALERT gets killed is…priceless. I recommend both for the LAFFs. And if anyone reading here hasn’t seen Deep Blue Sea (Big Wet Shark) and the monologue w/ Samuel L. Jackson, do yourself a favor and netflix that shit immediately. So funny.

  55. Holly  |   Posted on Jul 21st, 2009 -7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  56. I just have to throw out this Jumper-related tidbit for Gabe, since I too recently discovered the wondrous joke that is that movie. FACT: the director was originally considering EMINEM for Hayden Christensen’s role. Cramazing.

  57. jimh  |   Posted on Jul 22nd, 2009 +6

    All I can think of is Jerry Stiller:
    “George, I saw a very interesting movie the other day. It was called ‘The Net’. It had that girl from the bus.”

  58. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  59. For whatever reason (vodka hangover mostly but also it’s a really bad movie) “Buffalo 66″ popped into my head and now it will haunt me all day.
    Poor Christina Ricci. She means well, you can sort of see it.

  60. The Continuing Case of the Keanu Reeves Nightmare Factory is still nothing compared to “Gran Torino.” It must be done. It’s even timely too!

  61. Color of Night  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2009 0

    Please review Color of Night which is the bad worst movie

  62. Alright, I consider myself a pretty appropriate person…but was I the only one who sat in that theater and wondered if Neo could put something else in that mailbox? Maybe a little somethin’ somethin’ for Miss Congeniality to have some fun with? Perhaps a Keanu, Jr.? Am I coming in clear? Mom, am I coming in clear?! (Please, someone, please get that reference.)
    Thinking about that with the whole space-time-continuum conundrum boggles my mind.

  63. I don’t know why people engage in trying to ‘reason’ through time travel hijinks in film and television. It is time travel: suspend your disbelief. Not arguing this redeems the film, but this isnt physicistgum.

  64. PuzzledOne  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2009 -3

    Worse movie of all time? All the mentioned movies so far have been up there, but I can’t leave without putting in my vote – the remake of Moulin Rouge. (SPOILER) My the end of Nicole’s death scene I felt like shouting at the screen JUST DIE ALREADY! I

  65. Nick  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2009 0

    You have to do Revolver.

  66. Long walks on the beach are overrated. A lot of sand, your socks get wet. And it’s noisy.

  67. Gabe, you have saved me from seeing many terrible movies. It’s like Mad’s parodies, except with a (slightly) more intelligent attitude.

    Also, Titanic. I nominate. I am sincerely surprised it hasn’t been reviewed yet.

  68. Ohhh Keanu Reeves.

  69. Kathleen  |   Posted on Aug 19th, 2009 +1

    You have got to be kidding me. I LOVE this movie, and I don’t like romance movies in general.

  70. The time travel paradox in this movie is similar to the one in Reeves’s earlier work Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure wherein they decide that, in the past, they should place a recording of themselves in the bushes so they can get away in the present. Then they remark that they must remember to place the recording of themselves in the bushes or else it won’t happen. I had a similar problem with this time travel paradox as the one you are describing. It seems to be a running theme in Reeves’ work.

  71. ” Does she occasionally go back to the lake house in the middle of nowhere, where she does not live–and where she fully expects there to be new tenants, thus the letter to the new tenants–in order to check for any mail? That seems inconvenient”

    So you didnt pay attention to the moment where doctor Kasinsky tells Kate to go visit a place she feels confortable, and that’s why she decides to go back to the lake house. But some moments of your post made me laugh, I’ll give you that.

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