By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Jun 19, 2006 at 5:02 AM
Anyone who champions enduring love will find some magic in “The Lake House.” Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves combine their star power for a second time on screen, more than a decade after the Oscar-winning (in 3 technical categories) “Speed.” Although both have moved on in their careers and lives, their chemistry remains strong.

The story begins with a lake house. Not just any lake house, though. It’s completely glass, built on stilts from the lake bed with a tree growing in the middle of it. Dr. Kate Forster (Bullock) has called this intriguing place home and it’s now time to move on. She leaves a letter for the new tenant asking him or her to forward any pieces of mail that might be hers along with well-wishes in their new place.

However, the new tenant, Alex Wyler (Reeves), finds her letter a bit odd since no one has lived in the lake house for years. But by the looks of the years of the letters, and a little mailbox magic, the two realize that they are living two years apart, Alex in 2004 and Kate in 2006.

Like the times before cell phones, the Internet and e-mail, the two start corresponding through letters. As time goes on, their histories begin to intertwine and Kate realizes that Alex is embedded in her past. However, they want to be together in the future. They set a date for a meeting, but Alex stands Kate up. She then reconnects with a past love, Morgan (“Nip/Tuck’s” Dylan Walsh).

The lake house keeps drawing her back to Alex. She can’t let him go because she has come to love him. As an event threatens any future they could have together, the lake house becomes a refuge. The two-year gap can’t keep their feelings at bay and it shows, love will prevail even though difficult times hit hard.

Anyone seeing “The Lake House” will find its charm. By far, this reinvention of the Korean “Il Mare” is the best romantic dramady (drama/comedy) to come out so far this year.

From beginning to end, director Alejandro Agresti has finessed the camera work. Shot in Chicago -- the second romantic movie this month to play to the Windy City, “The Break-Up” being the first -- with an emphasis on the city’s beautiful architecture, Agresti creates a visually stunning movie. Although Alex and Kate communicate through letters, there are times when the characters are actually speaking to one another. They are in the same place -- like in a park sitting on two different benches -- talking and asking questions, but their time periods are split at the middle of the screen.

The only movie snag has to do with its somewhat complicated plot. It can be tricky playing with time, as countless movies like “The Butterfly Effect” and “Back to the Future” have shown. “The Lake House” didn’t seem to take into account the problems that making changes in the past will change the future. However, focusing on the love story rather than the one snafu will more than make up for it.
Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.