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coffeenut's avatar

(Spoiler Alert) Can anyone help with a movie time travel paradox?

Asked by coffeenut (6171points) March 24th, 2011

End of Movie Spoiler Alert

Ok so we just watched the movie “The Lake House” Where the characters Kate and Alex converse through time (2 year difference, Kate being in 2006, and Alex in 2004) through a mailbox at the lake house.

At the end of the movie Kate is in 2008 and Alex is in 2006…. Yes I know it’s a movie but this part is really confusing….

Kate writes to Alex in one letter that because a man died on Valentine’s Day 2006, his death is what brought her back to the lake house, and therefore, when she found Alex’s first letter. However, when Kate realizes in 2008 that Alex was that same man who died on Valentine’s Day (2006) from his brother she hired to renovate her current house, she warns him not to find her in order to save his life, and for him to find her at the lake house in another 2 years. Alex doesn’t die, and he does meet Kate.

So if he didn’t die on Valentines Day (2006), She wouldn’t have returned to the Lake House and find his first letter….She also wouldn’t of found out from his brother that he has died (the cause of her wanting to save his life) and be able to warn him not to show up when he did… So wouldn’t he need to die for this to work….? uggg headache

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8 Answers

creative1's avatar

Unfortuntately Kate can’t relive her past she has already lived it but she is warning Alex not to go out to find her which in turn leads him not to die. So everything that happened to Kate can’t be undid but something that is going to happen to Alex can be at least thats how I see it.

12Oaks's avatar

Yep, that’s the big question about time travel. The very thing you go back in time to stop never happens, so then in the future there is no reason to go back in time to stop it, so it happens, causing you to go back in time…..

I always thought that was the secret to mortality, getting trapped in a time travel loop, and loophole, like that.

PS. A touch off topic, so I hope this doesn’t get moderated away, but yet another movie on my seemingly long list of movies I have never heard of.

tedd's avatar

Time travel is very paradoxical, and honestly no one can answer the questions because we have no real way of proving it.

One thing I’d heard was to think of people and time as separate things. We travel on time much like a road… if you went back in time and changed the future to the point where say your parents no longer exist, you would still exist because you exist independently of the road you’re on.

But don’t think on it too much, you’ll get a headache.

janbb's avatar

Time travel can be done convincingly or it can be really dumb. The Lake House was one of the examples where it was poorly done and didn’t make sense. Not worth a headache over.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The latest theory of which I am aware that deals with this issue states that everytime a decision is made about anything, two separate universes branch off from the decision. So perhaps there are two universes which branch off from Kate’s decision to warn Alex to wait another two years to find her: one branch in which Alex decides to follow her advice, and another branch in which Alex decides to NOT follow her advice. [ holds spinning head in hands, crying “Ow! Ow! Ow!”

SpatzieLover's avatar

@janbb agreed on every point…what a waste o’ my time

jerv's avatar

Some forces are stronger than science. Basically, “reality” is determined solely by what would make for a good story.

Take Terminator. They send someone back in time to kill the mother of their enemy, thus they have no enemy and therefore no reason to send anyone back in time to change things, so things don’t get changed….

The way I see it, what really happens is that all of the time-fuckery that can be done already has been done and the reality we live in is the net sum of all of the tampering. Sure, that would take all the fun out of Doctor Who, but it seems to me that that is the only way time travel could even exist in the first place.

talljasperman's avatar

It makes sense if you belive in 11 dimensions of space-time:... Also you could think of time loops as a looped string and you pull on it eventually the string will straighten out… Like evolution of time.

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