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Life as a House (2001)

Cast: Kevin Kline, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, more...
Director: Irwin Winkler, Irwin Winkler
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: New Line Home Video
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 124 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Kevin Kline stars as George, a down-on-his-luck architect in this tearjerker from Irwin Winkler (At First Sight, Guilty By Suspicion). A disdainful local character who draws disapproval from the community, particularly his neighbor played by Mary Steenburgen, George sets out to change his life after suddenly losing his longtime job and discovering he's terminally ill (he has cancer). Attempting to reconnect with his estranged and troubled son, Sam (Hayden Christiansen), George endeavors to spend the summer they have together building his dream home by the sea. The laborious process leads to the rebuilding of dissipated relationships, the birth of new ones, and all-around healing. ~ Rachel Deahl, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Memorable & Touching by JMVerville October 21, 2004 - 6:45 AM PDT
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This is a very memorable and touching tale that explores the troubled relationship of a father and a son, and a general observance of relationships as a whole. Unlike many films, it is willing to take a very critical look of a lot of suburban values and portrays the most of the characters as unhappy and looking for something more in life -- it shows human sentiment as truly as it can be shown.

Through the film one grows very attached to all of the characters, and one genuinely gains understanding and insight into who they are and what it means to be them. That is why this film becomes thoroughly haunting & touching.

I recommend this film to most anyone -- from the beginning to the end I was enraptured by it and caught up in the story & pain; this is a film that if you take at its' face value you will enjoy it.

Life as a Two-Hour Waste of Time by BrodiesGirl August 8, 2003 - 9:53 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I was spending my day on my couch, quite sick, with several remotes, orange juice and cough syrup at my side. Flipping through the channels, I came across "Life as a House." Call it a moment of delerium from the cough syrup, but I watched it.

Kevin Kline lost his job and is also dying with only months left to live. Luckily, he was an architect, so there is enough time to build his dream house while rebuilding a relationship with his estranged ex-wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and angsty son (Hayden Christenson).
Worst. Metaphor. Ever.
Other things happen, neighbors, neighbor kids, running bits with dog peeing in neighbor's yard, ex-wife starts falling in love with Kline again, blah blah blah.

Overall, it was pretty predictable. No surprises, and nothing stellar from the performances. I like Kline a lot and this is not his best work. Christenson seemed to be channeling his best James Dean and Thomas didn't seem to be much of anything. Jena Malone, the neighbor girl, was the only one able to squeeze some sort of life out of the script, I think everyone else just stopped trying. (Not that I blame them.)

Waste of time, film, and actors.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.69)
49 Votes
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