The story focuses on a man who suffers "anesthetic awareness" and finds himself awake and aware, but paralyzed, during heart surgery. His mother must wrestle with her own demons as a turn of events unfolds around them, while trying to unfold the story hidden behind her son's young wife.
George Monroe is a lonely and sad man. Divorced for ten years, he lives alone on the Southern California coast with his pet dog in the same run down shack he has lived in for twenty-five years, the shack which his father passed down to him. In the intervening years, ostentatious houses have sprung up around him. He's been at the same architectural firm for twenty years in a job he hates, which primarily consists of building scale models. On the day that he is fired from his job, he is diagnosed with an advanced case of terminal cancer, which he chooses not to disclose to his family. In many ways, this day is the happiest of his recent life in that he decides to spend what little time he has left doing what he really wants to do, namely build a house he can call his own to replace the shack. He also wants his rebellious sixteen year old son, Sam Monroe, to live with him for the summer, hopefully not only to help in the house construction, but for the two to reconnect as a family. ... Written by
Though Kline and Scott-Thomas are the leads and show their chops that made them stars, Christensen shines so brilliantly that his talent is breath-taking. Each role is so well-portrayed that you're completely comfortable understanding the plot. The movie is challenging, thought-provoking, and intensely human, well-worth the attention of men who may presume that it's a chick flick. The action and adventure is in the challenge to deal with the plot. It's gut-honest, everyday life, involving situations we all deal with: intent, marital disharmony, second-guessing decisions we made, seeing the light, and desperate substitutes we use to deflect pain.
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