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Life as a House (2001)

R | | Drama | 9 November 2001 (USA)
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When a man is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he takes custody of his misanthropic teenage son, for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Josh
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Peter Kimball
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Officer Kurt Walker
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Nurse #1
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David Dokos
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Bryan Burke
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Bob Larson
Barry Primus ...
Tom
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seen from a distance, it's perfect.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Haus am Meer  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$294,056 (USA) (26 October 2001)

Gross:

$15,561,627 (USA) (21 December 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the audio commentary of the DVD, Irwin Winkler stated that Kevin Kline lost about 25 pounds. He was also on a constant diet and had a trainer with him. But he was not sick. It's to let the audience think George is getting sicker and sicker. See more »

Goofs

When Alyssa hugs George (at about 1:34) she has one, then both, arms around his neck. See more »

Quotes

George: I always thought of myself as a house. I was always what I lived in. It didn't need to be big; it didn't need to be beautiful; it just needed to be mine. I became what I was meant to be. I built myself a life... I built myself a house.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Last Dance (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

What You Wish For
Written by Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner and Brian Rosenworcel
Performed by Guster
Courtesy of London-Sire Records, Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Surprised this didn't get more recognition
23 September 2004 | by (Phoenix AZ) – See all my reviews

"Life as a House" is not an easy film to watch. Its story is piercingly poignant, sometimes depraved, and unbearably sad. If you insist on flashy amusements and naive happy endings in your films, this is not for you. If you are "real" though, about the dynamics of our troubled lives, then it is for you. And if you are sensitive, then this is a film you can only watch about once a year.

It is well written, directed, and acted, especially by Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas. Hayden Christensen gives us the same believable anger, sullenness and pathos as his Anakin Skywalker character did in Episode II; maybe better. He makes a good troubled teen. And Jena Malone is good with the script she is dealt.

I'd recommend this film to anyone.


99 of 114 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
this sounds very jerky but is my one criticism of this great movie ms-catamaran
Jacking off in an armoire tiffy_lee
Emo confusion foure
The whole shower scene? brialashee
scene that moved me the most Angel_Of_My_Heart
What's wrong with Sam? rayment8771
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