Keanu Reeves: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

4. Alex Wyler - The Lake House (2006)

Whenever he comes across an unbelievable piece of casting, film critic Mark Kermode would invoke one of two examples to illustrate his point. One was "Meg Ryan is a helicopter pilot", relating to Courage Under Fire, and the other was "Keanu Reeves is an architect", relating to our next entry.

Nominally a remake of the 2000 Korean film Il Mare, The Lake House is a time travel romance which reunites Reeves with Sandra Bullock 12 years after their first encounter on Speed (which only just failed to make this list). They play Alex Wyler and Dr. Kate Forster, an architect and doctor who lived in the same house in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and are able to communicate with one another through a mysterious letterbox. Inevitably, romance blossoms, but how will their growing love be requited? Time travel romances range from the brilliant (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) to the flawed (The Time Traveller's Wife) to the downright ridiculous - and it is in this latter camp that The Lake House belongs. Neither the scriptwriter nor the director have any real grasp of the mechanics of time travel, so that the film loses its audience by increasingly breaking its own rules. But even if you do as Roger Ebert did and try to see the film as just a romance, it comes up short because of Reeves' performance. While Bullock is her usual annoying self, Reeves is mopey and uncharismatic in a way that Shia LeBeouf could only dream of being. It's an incredibly inert piece of acting - which brings us nicely onto the next selection...

Freelance copywriter, film buff, community radio presenter. Former host of The Movie Hour podcast ( and click 'Interviews'), currently presenting on Phonic FM in Exeter ( Other loves include theatre, music and test cricket.