The Lake House parents guide

The Lake House Parent Guide

Can they cross time's divide to meet in person?

Overall B+

After architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) moves into The Lake House, he finds a note from the previous tenant, curiously dated 2006. Writing to Dr. Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock), he carefully explains it is only 2004. At first she thinks he's joking--but eventually she realizes that somehow the mailbox is enabling her to communicate with someone in another time.

Release date June 15, 2006

Violence B+
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B-
Substance Use C+

Why is The Lake House rated PG? The MPAA rated The Lake House PG for some language and a disturbing image

Run Time: 99 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) moves into an unusual house, which was designed by his father (Christopher Pummer), he finds a memo from the previous tenant in the mailbox. Curiously, it’s dated 2006, even though Alex is unpacking his boxes in 2004. When he corrects the author of the note, he is snidely accused of being confused.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the script, Dr. Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) is in the process of moving out of the same glass-walled home on the lake. Discovering a letter in the mailbox dated two years earlier, she becomes convinced someone is playing a prank on her. But when the correspondence with the man from the past begins happening as quickly as she can place the paper into the box and put up the delivery flag, she begins to believe the impossible is really happening: Somehow, she is communicating with someone in another time.

So begins the romance framing this movie, featuring a plot that twists fate around many of the characters’ life events and moments of decision. To say anything more would risk giving away many of the tiny gems in this wonderfully understated little movie, which uses time, as opposed to geography, to act as the barrier keeping the couple apart. The script even holds a hint of mystery/sci-fi to hold the interest of those who may not usually be inclined to sit through a “chick flick.”

A stroll through these quiet elements may not encourage many teens to race over to The Lake House, which is unfortunate because this rare love story focuses on the emotional qualities of a relationship as opposed to the physical. Other than an implied live-in relationship involving an unmarried couple and a few kisses, there is no sexual content in this film. Innuendo is absent as well, and language is limited to a handful of mild profanities, a scatological expletive and a few terms of deity. We do witness some moments of trauma at the hospital where Dr. Forster works and a pedestrian roadway accident (a body lying on a street is briefly shown), but none of these events include blood or are explicit in any detail. There are however, frequent scenes involving social drinking of alcohol in bars and at homes.

As we observe Kate and Alex getting to know each by sharing their deepest feelings about love, work, and life, the film reminds the viewer of the lost art of taking the time to know and understand another individual. Besides this valuable message, there’s a good chance you’ll also leave the theater recognizing how the seemingly smallest actions may instead be the most profound turning points. With these attributes, this subtly-crafted PG-rated title is one both parents and teens can enjoy.

Starring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release June 15, 2006. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Lake House

The Lake House
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Lake House rated PG? The Lake House is rated PG by the MPAA for some language and a disturbing image

Adults and teens looking for a little cinematic romance without sexual content will likely be pleased with this PG-rated love story. An unmarried couple that appears to be living together, a short scene with a woman in a cleavage-revealing top, and a few kisses are the only elements contributing to sexual content. Language is also tame, with a few mild profanities, a scatological expletive and terms of deity. A pedestrian is killed after being struck by a bus (we see the body after the incident) and a couple of traumatic moments in a hospital are included. Perhaps the most concerning content issue are the many scenes of social drinking in bars and homes, however no one appears intoxicated.

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The Lake House Parents' Guide

You may want to try writing a “time warp” letter. Pretend you are writing to yourself at a point in time in the past. What advice and warnings about upcoming events would you provide? Now, try the opposite. Write yourself a letter for a future date, and then put it in an envelope and tuck it away until the time indicated on the letter.

Loved this movie? Try these books…

​M J Putney’s Dark Mirror is a traditional time travel story where a girl with magical powers from the Napoleonic era winds up in a small English village during World War II.

A love story for older readers, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger tells the story of a man with a genetic disorder that randomly pushes him through time. His wife has to cope with his unpredictable absences and her fears of the dangers he faces.

Curious about the physics of time? Famed physicist Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time to help non-scientists understand how time works.

Older kids and teens with an interest in time will enjoy Madeleine L’Engle’s sci-fi fantasy novels. A Wrinkle in Time begins her series with the story of Meg Murry, a girl who must find her missing father and understand tesseracts - which serve as portals through space and time.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Lake House movie is September 25, 2006. Here are some details…

The tranquil love story, The Lake House, ripples into the home entertainment marketplace with this DVD release. Offered in either full or wide screen editions, the disc features Dolby Surround 5.1 audio tracks in English, French and Spanish, with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

Related home video titles:

Time gets involved in the maters of the heart in the romantic movies Kate and Leopold and Somewhere In Time.

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