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

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Index 358 reviews in total 

extremely sad, but also brilliant!

10/10
Author: buseoana from Romania
28 February 2006

this movie caught my heart from the moment it started until that last but so terrifyingly sad end! this is such a superb story! it appeals especially to adolescents who think that their parents will never understand their life or their problems! it really shows you the true meaning of what's important in life and that it is too short to just grow each other apart! the final act of this movie was so sad i was still crying after 10 minutes after it ended!! it is a brilliant peace of work...really..it combines every state and feeling you can possibly imagine and has the weirdest turns!it shows the spiritual connection of each and every member of one family, no matter what the differences and the problems between them and our ability to stay as one and united in the hardest of times! just brilliant!

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Meaningful & Beautiful

10/10
Author: Electros from Australia
13 February 2006

Life As A House is one of my favourite drama films I've ever seen. I think it is one of the best drama films since Ordinary People (1980). I rented this movie only to see Hayden Christensen. I didn't expect the movie to be so touching. What I like is that it is heart touching, but not over dramatic. The movie not only shows Sam, a troubled teenager, transformation to an adult, but the whole community transforms. The acting was very natural. I'm not a fan of Hayden Christensen's acting but his portrayal of a troubled teenager growing up couldn't have been better. I recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys light dramas. If your a fan of movies like the Garden State, you will definitely enjoy this.

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Tearing Down the Walls (SPOLIER ALERT!)

8/10
Author: Justine Derrickson from Kodiak, AK United States
12 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In Life as a House, Georges' tearing down and rebuilding of his house symbolizes his relationships as he completely changes Sam who begins to love his father, and Robin who falls back in love with George. On the other hand, as the house is being rebuilt, George starts to feel the effects of his cancer, and begins to die.

My experience with this film is that I heard that it was a good movie, so I rented it, and watched it on September 27, 2005 at my house.

At the beginning of this film, we see Sam as this one-sided, angsty teenager, who is on the wrong side of the track, dealing with everything from drugs to small-time prostitution; yet as George takes Sam for the summer, wanting them to build a house together (with enormous opposition from Sam, mind you) we start to see a bond developing. On event is when George jumps off the cliff and into the ocean. At this point Sam has nothing but hate for his father, saying, "you're totally insane" and "my father is a total wacko". The major turning point in this film is when Sam flips out about George flushing his marijuana down the toilet. Sam starts screaming "You never cared about me before" (minus his bad French) and Georges' response of "Well, now I do care" really hits Sam. George pushes him down on the bed, and makes Sam listen to him, making him realize that he has to change. At this point, Sam himself realizes this, and helps George tear down the house, and their old relationship. We get his sense because the very next morning he wakes up early, and helps George with his house, where he would just lye around doing nothing before; he also is nice to his little brother and Mom for a change. Another aspect that gives us this change in Sam in his appearance; he no longer has his piercings, and has taken off all his makeup. When George finally tells him that he is dying, Sam flips out, starts crying and punching walls; this is a clear indication that he has made a one hundred and eighty degree turn from where he started, he actually cares about his father.

Another relationship in question is that of Robin, George's ex-wife. Right from the start, we can definitely tell that they are exes; when George tries to touch Robin's face, she attempts to bite his finger! How much more hatred do you need? Needless to say, there is a definite tension between the two. George happens to tell Robin that she is the most beautiful person he has ever met, and she's shocked and outraged by this statement. I think this is the moment in the film where she starts doubting her relationship with both George and Peter (her current husband). One evening, when Peter is eating a dinner that Robin fixed for him, she asks him if he thinks it's odd that his kids don't hug him. We can certainly tell by this that she doubts him as a father. She visits Sam the first day he's at Georges', and she comes back the next day, and the next, and the one after that, as well as the next and tomorrow too. She helps George tear down the walls, and brings her kids (that she had with Peter, not George) to help, as well as lunch for weeks. Peter has a talk with Robin about maybe them taking a vacation sometime, but she tells him that she can't because she needs to help George with his house (not in those frank of terms, though); Peter realizes then that Robin doesen't love him anymore. The next day, Robin videotapes the construction, which shows us that she wants to develop her relationship further with George, and she even dances with him. When Peter leaves Robin, she tells George (in a way) that she still loves him, while he as well loves her back. There is tension between the two though, because George tells her that love is not enough, ans when Peter tries to get Robin back, we can tell that she wants to be with George nonetheless.

On the other hand, while Georges' relationships are being built up simultaneously with his house, he is being torn down with his terminal cancer. This is being played up the most when Sam states that George looks like crap lately, and George responds with 'you're looking better than ever'; this just seems ironic how just when Sam is getter "better" in a sense, that George would be dying, and not be able to be with the new Sam for much longer. One's bar of life, so to speak, is being raised while the other is being lessened. Throughout the construction process, George starts to feel the effects of his cancer; he's taking more and more pills, sleeping in the middle of the day and looking pale and sickly. It seems to be as though it is a sort of re-birth, with Sam and George in the end. George dies, but Sam lives on in the spirit of George.

We never find out how other people react to Sam's change, and I think that would be interesting to know; maybe we can hope for a sequel.

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Only Hayden

10/10
Author: dsscott from United States
26 November 2005

I only rented this movie because Hayden was cast in the film. I am 27 and in all my life I have seen no one that compares. I used to be a Tom Cruise and Marcus Schekenberg fan however, Hayden takes the cake. Future film makers would be wise to cast him. He is highly talented. Oh, the film, it was great but, my opinion, some of the sex scenes turned me off. This film (with some work) could have a been a very tender, profound film, the flippy sex scenes threw me. For now I am swept. God is good!! Praise GOD!! OK, I do not have enough lines, so I am forced to talk about Hayden. What is it about him? I was browsing the movies at the video store and I seen his face and I stopped. Then I looked at the movie and it was Star Wars. Yuk. I have never watched a Star Wars movie until now. And actually, the story to Star WArs is good. But Hayden made this movie enjoyable. Would I have enjoyed this movie without, I dunt think so. He has a little boy's innocence with a MAN's strength swirled in. From TV he's great.

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Pretty House Inhabited by Confused People

6/10
Author: artemis_5 from Northern California
14 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wanted to like "Life as a House," because it was the type of film that I usually rave about. The concept was great--- after being fired from his job and finding out he has a serious illness, the main character decides to bond with his estranged teenage son and make peace with his ex-wife while building a house that he can be proud to leave to his son.

However, I had mixed feelings about the performances and the way the characters were written. Kevin Kline delivers a heartfelt performance as George Monroe, as does Kristin Scott Thomas as Robin Kimball(George's ex-wife) but I did not find myself engaged by them until the last few minutes of the movie. I did find myself engaged by George's son, Sam (Hayden Christensen), who seemed the most emotionally open of the characters. I also liked Jena Malone. As George and Sam's neighbor, Alyssa Beck, she provides a little sunshine for both the movie audience and Sam, while Mary Steenburgen and Ian Somerhalder, as Colleen Beck and Josh respectively, introduce an unnecessary soap opera quality to the film.

As for Robin's current husband and children, their purpose was limited. Robin's husband, Peter Kimball, is barely present in the film, which I guess is one of the reasons that their marriage is troubled. The children are cute, but they seem to be merely accessories for their mother, whom they accompany on visits to her ex-husband's.

I also felt that the movie has just too many badly used clichés to truly hold people's attentions: 1) the middle-aged mom who sleeps with the boyfriend of her teenage daughter, 2) the middle-aged man who undergoes a spiritual awakening only after losing his job and being told he has four months to live, 3) the angry scary looking teenager who gets his bearings, a makeover into a respectable looking guy, and a new free-spirited girlfriend after meeting said girlfriend (although the reverse sometimes happens in films: respectable guy loses his bearings, and adopts angry scary looking persona after meeting a free-spirited girl). But, like I said before, while Sam and Alyssa's relationship followed a cliché, I actually found it the most interesting part of this film, and real at some level. In fact, some of my favorite films have relied partly on clichés; so it really depends on how you approach them.

Although I must admit that this film actually did make me cry at the end.

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i love Hayden Christensen alot<3

10/10
Author: tregirls35 from United States
4 October 2005

most people say that Hayden Christensen cant act. but it is totally wrong. after his performance in star wars episode 3 people thought he sucked as an actor, but after seeing life as a house...you could no longer think that. he does an amazing job in acting as a very disturbed teen. all his little outrages..yes teens do do that, i speak from experience, i do it all the time, and yes we do wine a lot. so if he seems like a big baby as some say, well we all do it! its the way we are. he totally captures the problems that us teens have going through high school with divorced parents. i think he did an amazing job in this movie, and anyone who thinks he cant act should rent life as a house. but if you don't like emotionally disturbed teens, and really sad movies, i don't recommend it!<3

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This is movie is majestic and wonderful.

10/10
Author: zippo6962 from United States
20 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Life as a House is a movie that shows change can happen and it does all the time. It shows that a father and son CAN be reunited after 10 yrs. of being apart. This movie didn't get enough credit, sure a few awards were won but not enough. Life as a House stars Kevin Kline as George Monroe, Hayden Christensen as Sam Monroe, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Robin Kimball. The movie starts out with George getting fired from his job and then it goes down hill from there. Then George tells his ex-wife that he wants his son, Sam, for the summer. At first Sam is a little Gothic punk that has no respect for authority. Sam first starts the change when he finds out the last time his father was happy was when he was with Sam in the Ocean. The movie goes about as George and Sam tear down the shack and build a wonderful house. Sam becomes attached to his father, only to be told that his father is dying due to cancer. Thats is all i want to say about the movie because i don't want to ruin it for the ones who haven't seen it. This movie is worth every penny, may it be renting it or buying it... SEE IT!!! This movie is a touching movie, prepare the tissues. LOL

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Bravo Bravo!!

10/10
Author: Kal from United Kingdom
19 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm more of a Action/Thriller film chap, but on occasions i love a thought provoking film well this film did exactly that.

I watched this film over the weekend after it was recommended by a friend. It was superb to say the least. I've always been a fan of a good film which can leave you thinking after it's finished, and this film achieves exactly that.

Sam (Hayden Christensen) is brilliant in his portrayal of a rebellious child who just craves some love (the scene where his parents are dancing if you see his facial expression's will speak volumes)

I give this film 10/10 hope to see more marvellous performances from Hayden Christensen.

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cry baby

9/10
Author: (favoritesoul) from United States
5 September 2005

its rare that a movie surprises me. the fact that this one did on so many levels may prove that my radar needs a readjustment. i should have known by an initial perusal of the cast list - Kevin Kline, Kristen Scott Thomas, Mary Steenburgen - but i confess, the Hayden Christensen part really blew the entire endeavor off my screen entirely. here's some advice... forgive him the Jedi movies. trust me, you'll pee in your pants before running to the restroom just to see what he'll do next. he plays the role with such realism, i wanted to take notes. Irwin Winkler, you're my hero. the idea that the camera catches a moment in a life has never been portrayed so poignantly. screw you for making me cry, tho... i have to wake up early tomorrow.

(ps: i can't believe spell check made me capitalize Jedi)

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Pleasantly Surprised

6/10
Author: cmcolucy from United States
5 August 2005

My spouse and I were both surprised to be touched by this movie. We have three young sons and found the father/son theme touching. We have always loved anything Kevin Kline has done, but were particularly impressed with Hayden Christensen. Was he /trying/ to act badly in Star Wars because he was excellent in this movie. The transformation of his character is heart-warming and believable. And I really don't think I have to say Kevin Kline was great. I also have to say the ocean and sunset scenes were beautiful. It was a little hard to suspend disbelief about the house-building, but the human story was real enough that we hardly noticed. All-in-all definitely worth watching.

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