We’re Losing The Lake House

Our Dish Network Satellite Receiver has gone bad, again. This is the third time in two years! It is under warranty, though. The new one arrived this week, and now we are mourning the recordings we are going to lose from the DVR (digital video recorder) on our old receiver. Paul called Dish Network to learn if we could transfer those to the new receiver. Sure, they said, it will cost just $40 and involve a complicated process. We decided we’re not that attached, although our children expressed otherwise at dinner.

Here’s some FINDS that we are sad to be losing:

The Lake House: I am a little embarrassed to say that this movie has been on my DVR nearly nine months, and I may have watched it . . . . hmmm . . . nearly nine times. This romantic drama with a little mystery stars Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves and is not at all like that other movie they were in together. The two things I liked most about it—the music and the setting—connected me to the story. I use the word connect deliberately because that’s the theme.

The characters, Alex and Kate, are both seeking a connection to something or someone, and although they live two years apart, a mail box at a lake house connects them. Kate is returning to a “place where she feels most like herself,” but as Alex describes the lake house, “It is a glass box with a view of everything around it but with no connection to what you’re looking at.” I love a story strongly based on setting, in which the time and/or place becomes as much a character as anyone in it. This one carries me beyond just the parameters of these two people to be able to imagine my own connections.

When The Lake House was released in 2006, the critics didn’t love this movie, finding the plot to be a little far-fetched with a confusing time paradox. Paul watched it with me, twice in fact, most likely because his profession was represented. He enjoyed it the first time and then the persistent “movie architect” persona began to grate on him. Sometimes it seems that architects are often characterized, even more than other professions, as how someone thinks they might be with little connection to reality. Still, the music (most of which is unfortunately not on the soundtrack), the Chicago scenery, and the mystery of the plot overcome all of those criticisms for me, and I found a place for it on my DVR. You can connect to it with this trailer.

Stranger than Fiction: To get a real feeling for the fun and creative tone of this comedy/drama you have to visit the official site. Go ahead, click on it, and then enter the site. “While the cursor waits for it to load,” is narrated by a voice (Emma Thompson) just like the one Harold Crick, an IRS agent, hears in his head when his own life starts being narrated by an author. The story is clever and the character’s idiosyncrasies even more so. I love how the story combines the discovery of Harold’s highly serious situation with the humorous highlights from an array of personalities.

Harold is attracted to a woman who is his opposite, Ana, the owner of a bakery he is auditing, and he eventually brings her a variety of “flours.” The mix of characters and their philosophies are refreshing, keeping me from feeling that I am being driven to identify with just one. Thus, their different approaches to life prepare me for the thought-provoking ending. After viewing this several times, I consistently say to myself: Why can’t I come up with a story like this? Several possible influences for the original story have been identified. But this one is something for every storyteller to work toward.

And here’s some other stuff we will miss from our DVR:

Seven Samurai: This Japanese film from the 50’s is nearly four hours long and Paul has found great enjoyment watching it in short time segments late at night. He is only half-way through and now it’s gone.

Corpse Bride: My husband is passing down his love of Tim Burton to our teen.

And finally, we say goodbye to Planet Earth and any new Sponge Bob episodes that the children have recorded but haven’t seen, yet.

Have you taken my poll on Finding What Inspires? I would love your feedback.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel Corbett
    Mar 16, 2008

    I love both those movies! Too bad, the loss of DVRed favorites is so sad! Stranger than Fiction is probably in my top 10 favorites, it’s so funny and different than the norm.

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