I gave this four stars because I liked it so much, but there are a few predictable/corny moments that weigh it down a bit.
I didn't expect much when I watched this and so was pleasantly surprised and quite moved. The time-warp idea worked well for me - I love that kind of thing, though it took a while for me to work out which one was in which time. The answer is: Alex Wiler, an architect, is in 2004, two years behind Kate Forester, a doctor.
The premise: Kate, with her dog Jack, moves out of the Lake house, a uniquely designed glass house wrapped around a giant maple tree, and leaves a letter of welcome for the next tenants in the mailbox. Next we see Alex moving in, finding the letter in the mailbox and puzzling over it. He's confused by the date, the reference to the box in the attic (it's not there) and the paw prints on the deck (which aren't there either). A few days later he's painting something on the deck when Jack turns up, runs across the paint and prints paw prints along the deck. (Jack seems to have been a stray, turning up in Alex's life and later running off to be with Kate. That was a little corny for me.)
Confused, mystified, Alex writes a letter to Kate, putting it in the mailbox for the postal worker to collect, but Kate, having had a man die in her arms on Valentine's Day, goes out to the Lake House (still empty since she moved out) to think, and, checking the mailbox, finds Alex's letter.
After some writing back and forth they figure out that they're in two different time zones, parallel (as in, it's the same date, just different years). It's the perfect premise to keep two people in love, apart. It's a movie about waiting, though Alex meets Kate in 2004 - it's beautiful to watch him as he sees her for the first time, she having no idea of its significance because the Kate he knows is two years in the future.
I know I liked this a lot because I couldn't stop thinking about it afterwards, and wanted to watch it again. Keanu is in top form, just as good-looking as ever, and Sandra Bullock does a fine portrayl of a woman in love but forced to let go, give up, and try to move on, only to have the past force itself into her life, she the only one with a chance to prevent it. It may be escapism and it may be typical Hollywood, but I still plan on watching it again!