Lakeview Terrace is a 2008 movie about a couple who is harassed by their neighbor for being interracially married. Samuel L. Jackson stars as Abel Turner, a widowed Los Angeles Police Department officer who lives in suburban LA and torments his new next door neighbors, Chris and Lisa Mattson (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington). The neighbors become entangled in a long and bitter dispute over both physical and psychological boundaries.
Lakeview Terrace is based on a true story.
Abel Turner and Chris Mattson are believable in their interactions; Samuel L. fit the character of Abel Turner perfectly. Chris Mattson is amazingly attractive and Lisa Mattson is beautiful. It is nice to see an onscreen couple involving a white man and a black woman who does not feed into stereotypes or devolve into negativity. Chris is a somewhat uptight yet likeable character.
Favorite scene: In a late night bar scene, Abel tells Chris how he became a widower and why he is so against Chris and Lisa’s marriage. No spoilers — watch the movie to find out the details.
Outside of the main characters, the acting in Lakeview Terrace is subpar, at best. Lisa Mattson is a one-dimensional character and doesn’t add much to the movie outside of her role as wife to Chris. Chris’ attempts to put off having children make him seem selfish.
The movie is centered around Chris Mattson and the problems he faces as one half of a black woman/white man couple. Focusing only on Chris’ issues presents an inaccurate portrayal of the difficulties faced by these couples: the woman in these pairings also faces opposition, often more than the man does.
Lakeview Terrace is a good film, but not great: many scenes stop short where they could have gone more in-depth. What makes the movie worthwhile is the excellent acting of the main characters and the chance to glimpse into a rarely explored social issue.