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Life as a House
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Life as a House More at IMDbPro »

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I love this movie and would recommend everyone to watch at least once in their lifetime.

Author: yeung-claudia from United States
8 May 2011

When I watch this movie, it recalled many past scenes for my own - with my dying father on the hospital bed; my dying brother strolling along in a park and many other sweet and bitter things. Everything is not without a cause. Thanks for having made such a good movie which should be a classic in its own right. Should recommend to everyone to watch at least once in their lifetime, so that they would regret, revisit and rewrite something for not missing a life hard-earned. Sam is magnificent besides being extraordinarily handsome and youthful. Kevin Kline (George) could act even with his eyes. A bit odd is the come and go of Peter and would have been better and more clear if he went to see Sam in hospital. Robin's love for George and Peter is ambiguous, especially when she knew that George is terminally ill. Does she regret her earlier decision to return to George or is she worrying about her future? Anyway, a good movie with very good actors and actresses and beautiful scenery and setting.

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Life is about making the best out of relationships

Author: priyantha-bandara from Colombo -Sri Lanka
1 May 2011

Life is short. That's what we hear for a long time until we really realize that it was after all. When time runs out maybe everything else seems a waste of time except building up quality relationships and making up to the people you love. No one needs to die alone, with regret. Taking this theme dramatically and very close to heart, "Life as a House" represents itself in a very touching manner.

When George Monroe (Kevin Kline) is diagnosed with terminal cancer and lost his 20 year old job for new technology, he decides that it's time to look back and fix some of his mistakes. The biggest is letting go of his marriage 10 years back and his son with it. Thinking of making a change and winning back the lost heart of his son he decides to bring him to his place to spend the summer vacation. The teenager Sam (Hayden Christensen) who is tough headed and crack addict with good load of piercings on his body objects the idea. George decides to take him any way and live in the garage while the old shack he lives in is demolished in the name of reconstruction. These he wishes to be the last things he does in his life, getting to know Sam and building a house for his own and give it to his son. With difficulty and lot of tolerance both of the men fit in the small garage until they find out the meaning of the father and son relationship. And George finds love and comfort at the end in the hands of his x wife whom in heart have never left at the first place.

"Life as a House" is a warm drama. It flow calm yet strong while you knowing that the ending is not going to be that something to celebrate of. Seeing young Sam so hard headed and arrogant and George making room for him to fit in seems like an arduous and next to impossible task. But the story rolls out wonderfully flawless and emotionally.


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Great Movie!

Author: shawna1983 from United States
6 December 2010

The movie "Life as a House" covers all the topics a movie can cover. You feel fear, love, passion, and mystery all bundled up into one heartfelt film. This film had me laughing and crying all at the same time, and I would recommend this movie to anyone who needs a good reality check. George (Kevin Kline) was a man of mystery. He lived a simple life, in a non simple world. He had a job that he hated, and ex-wife that he still loved, and a son who hated him. He lived with a secret that would not be completely revealed until the end when it takes your breath away. Knowing that he is ill George decides it's the perfect time to build that house he has always told his ex-wife Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas) he would build. Having issues controlling their son, Robin finally agrees to let Sam (Hayden Christensen) live with George for the summer to help build this house. After having marriage issues with her husband, Robin begins to spend the days over at the house helping as much as she can. Sam is an unhappy teen who hates his while existence. He finds comfort in drugs, but finds more comfort in the girl next door Alyssa (Jenna Malone). The make-shift house does not having running water, therefore, Sam is left to shower at Alyssa's place. Sam and George have a hard time seeing eye to eye, and all the while George keep the illness a secret from everyone to include his son. After many fights with his son, and confessions of love to Robin, George is left no choice but to tell the truth when his illness gets the best of him and he is hospitalized. The casting in this movie could not have been better. Sarah Finn and Randi Hiller were able to find the perfect people to fill the shoes and make this movie feel as realistic as possible. The movie was filmed off the coast of the ocean where many mornings were filled with a bright orange sky and the sounds of waves hitting the rocks below. The camera crew was able to catch the emotions of each person throughout the movie. This movie is able to provide so much attention to detail and I would suggest it to anyone. I don't believe it could have been set with a better cast or location than it was. I give the movie two thumbs up for a job well done!

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Life As A House - A family affair...

Author: aurora129 from United Kingdom
3 November 2010

Love, love lost and love gained are what I would consider the defining characteristics of this film.

By examining the fates and troubles of a handful of individuals and their interaction with one another this film defines what it is to be a family. The house, its demolition and re-building is the ultimate metaphor that is central to each individual characters transformation. Character functions and the ideologies surrounding life, family, death and re-birth play a crucial role.

Life As A House is predominantly a film set around one families struggle to accept one another and how the fate of one persons demise eventually brings them together.

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Poignant Drama

Author: norris25 from Columbus, OH
31 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kevin Kline portrays George Monroe – a father that is disconnected from his angst-ridden son, Sam Monroe (played by Hayden Christensen). Robin (played by Kristin Scott Thomas) and George have been divorced for 10 years, and their son Sam feels that he does not fit in at the house with her new husband and children. He resorts to getting high with pills or by huffing, and tries to end his life. George worked at an architecture firm until he is fired and he has a breakdown at work. As a result, he finds out he has cancer and only has 2-3 months to live.

After George's diagnosis, he pushes Sam to stay with him for the summer at his house – which is really just a garage with a bed and a house crumbling around it. George has decided to knock down his old house and build a new one – something he can leave behind for Sam. George realizes that life isn't what you live, it is what you make with it – which is the theme throughout the movie.

The lighting throughout the film exemplifies the message. Usually the lighting used is the natural outdoor lighting, but in the garage scene when George confronts Sam's drug usage, the lighting is very dark and ominous, quite fitting given the situation. Toward the end of the film, the mood got darker the lighting also followed, carrying along with the story line and time line of the characters. Along with the lighting, the camera angles also helped to tell the story. When George was up on the roof for example, the camera angles were farther off in the distance, showing George simply as a shadow working on the roof with the setting sun as a backdrop.

In the end, George was successful in keeping his health a secret until the house was almost completely framed out. With the help of Sam, Robin, Robins younger children and the neighbors, George's dream of leaving a house behind for his son was realized. After George died, the house became a poignant reminder. Sam decided to pass the house on to the family that was affected by the decisions of his Grandfather.

Overall, the film was a romantic drama that lived up to every expectation. He was successful in building the house with his son, and repairing the damaged relationship they had before he passed away. If you liked American Beauty, I recommend checking this film out!

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Life as a House is a Movie at its Best.

Author: reneweddan from United States
22 September 2010

If given one word to describe this film: Amazing. If given three words: Amazing, Amazing, Amazing.

Kevin Kline, Kristin Thomas, and Hayden Christensen all give very convincing portrayals of their characters, the acting is beyond extraordinary. They make you empathize more than you'd imagine possible.

Some compare it to American Beauty, but I believe both movies are in a class of their own. American Beauty was a bit darker than this film is, but either way, this is worth the watch.

This film is a must-see under any circumstance! Every moment sucks you in and you're always eager for more.

I was expecting an easy watch, but not such an emotionally enticing film. I know that this film will stay with me forever, it's one of those movies that you always remember, the one that doesn't have to be written down because you'll always have the title memorized.

Bravo to the Director, the Writer, and all of the actors.

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Works Because of Kline and Christensen

Author: evanston_dad from United States
4 August 2010

What has the potential to turn into a maudlin tearjerker is instead a refreshingly unsentimental film about making the most of what little life you have left.

That the film manages to avoid sticky-sweetness is due largely to the talents of Kevin Kline, as the dying father of a wayward son who wants to make a connection with him before it's too late, and Hayden Christensen as the son. Kline is a naturally sarcastic actor who brings a welcome sense of humor to what is essentially melodramatic material. And to those who think Christensen is nothing but a joke because of his performances in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, watch this film and the movie "Shattered Glass," and I think you'll see that having a director who knows what to do with actors makes all the difference in the world between a good performance and a bad one.

Grade: A-

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One of my favorites of all time.

Author: dmcguirk1 from Canada
9 October 2009

Its 2009, and I heard about this movie and I just love, love, love this movie - everyone (and I mean everyone) that I recommended to see this movie, all said they really enjoyed and they all gave "10 on 10". I loved the story, the actors but especially that I was able to relate about the house being demolished and what it represented. When the father & son were breaking down the walls it was like they were releasing the frustration they kept inside. And with every swing of the hammer they were able to let some of the pain go. It reached into my inner self about my past and by breaking down the walls, it was a healing feeling - just like I saw on that movie. I hope that Irwin Wrinkler creates another similar touching movie like this one.

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What A Story

Author: brenda grant from Canada
29 March 2009

Everyone should watch this story, there is a message coming out loud and clear and we shouldn't wait until something drastic happens to allow people into our lives. I laughed as hard as I cried, which make this an outstanding story. I can't remember the last time a movie moved me in such highs and lows. Kevin Kline is a fabulous actor, and a perfect pick for the role. To all those involved, I thank you. I hope all those involved continue to make such movies. I am sorry this film did not receive the aclaim it deserved, as a matter a fact, the only way I found it was surfing through the films I had not seen of Kevin Kline, and that is a travesty.

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Life as a movie.

Author: board-5 from Hungary
4 February 2008

First:I can understand what the writer wanted to say.Two:the cast acting well.Three:the characters has interesting and real personality,maybe the character played by Kevin Klein is just too graphic,but lot of people will love him,and the whole film.The cinematography has first class quality.The script has some elements why someones will,or can say this film isn't good for children,or for the whole family.Maybe the writer wanted a realistic story.Finally we get a GOOD film,but there are lot of points in the script,where we can say "this isn't good in this film,or why here,why there,why not in other way like this".But I do not see again,was not that good.Fortunatelly I had seen this film in television.

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