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Did you know The Lake House was a remake of the Korean film Il Mare? Asia original has got to be better, right? It is. Though it's essentially the same plot (dog and all), the differences are crucial. It all starts at Christmas time, for example, which makes this sort of miracle more acceptable. The leads are younger and more anonymous, which makes it all cuter, more credible, and less pregnant with expectations. In the American remake, the attempt to use the Keanu-Sandra chemistry from Speed falls flat because they're not really allowed to be in scenes together. Il Mare does a better job of creating the sense that the characters are together despite being apart anyway, and the theme of unrequited (painted unrequitable) love is much stronger as a result. But most of all, Il Mare is actually shot interestingly. The camera is bold and has fun with the material despite its tragic undertones, and the strange foggy beach where the house is located creates some unique vistas. Being set on the ocean rather than a lake, the tide becomes a kind of symbol for time, it's quite lovely. Neat links between the films created by The Lake House's Alejandro Agresti: The restaurant where Keanu and Sandra are to meet up is called the Il Mare, and in Il Mare, the girl pines for her ex who has moved to Chicago, where the remake is set.
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