Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) and Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) play two strangers who get to know each other through letters in a shared mailbox. They eventually fall in love, only to realize they’re actually living in two different time periods in this drama heavy romance. Kate lives in 2006, and Alex in 2004.
Kate’s a doctor that’s consumed with her work. After moving out of a serene lake house and into the city to be closer to work, she leaves a letter behind for the house’s next resident to please forward her mail to her new address if any gets missed by the post office. Alex, an architect and son of the famous architect who built the lake house, finds the letter, is confused by a few comments Kate made about the house, and puts a letter back in his mailbox for her. Kate then gets the letter and is confused by some things Alex said, and they form a pen pal type friendship. Along the way, they eventually realize they’re living in two different years, though don’t understand how that could be, and their friendship quickly turns into what feels like a long distance romance. But will they ever meet in real life?
Through some little tests to make sure this is all really happening, Alex finally sees Kate for real, in his time, but she has no idea who he is because this is her past, and she doesn’t remember seeing him when he tells her he saw her. Forward to a short time later, another chance encounter turns into something even greater when Alex finds her again. She, however, still doesn’t know who he is since this is her past, and the dreaded boyfriend who was already in the picture is now an issue. In Kate’s present day, though, she’s now remembering Alex and their encounter and wonders why he didn’t fight harder for her back then, so they have their first fight, and possibly the end of their long distance relationship.
There’s great chemistry between Sandra and Keanu while a sweet, nail biting romance blossoms between them and various obstacles crop up. This is not a light hearted romance. It’s filled with drama, both between them and also with what’s going on in their lives otherwise. There’s also a lot of going back and forth in time, but once you get the gist of who everyone is, it’s fun to follow along as Kate and Alex have their encounters, either through letters to each other or missed chances to meet. I also love the stylized way they sometimes had Kate and Alex reading their letters back and forth to each other, as if they were having face to face conversations. I totally loved everything about this movie and I highly recommend it!