7.5/10
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354 user 98 critic

Life as a House (2001)

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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.

Director:

Irwin Winkler

Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Kline ... George Monroe
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Robin Kimball
Hayden Christensen ... Sam Monroe
Jena Malone ... Alyssa Beck
Mary Steenburgen ... Colleen Beck
Mike Weinberg ... Adam Kimball
Scotty Leavenworth ... Ryan Kimball
Ian Somerhalder ... Josh
Jamey Sheridan ... Peter Kimball
Scott Bakula ... Officer Kurt Walker
Sandra Nelson ... Nurse #1
Sam Robards ... David Dokos
John Pankow ... Bryan Burke
Kim Delgado ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

New Line

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Haus am Meer See more »

Filming Locations:

Bermuda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$294,056, 28 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,652,637, 30 December 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,920,746, 8 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Winkler Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lindsay Lohan, who was 14 years old at the time of production/casting, was strongly considered for the role of Alyssa and even screen tested for it. While the filmmakers were impressed with Lohan, they ultimately gave Jena Malone the part, deciding they wanted someone a little bit older. See more »

Goofs

At the sunbathing scene with Sam and Alyssa, the suntan lotion spot on Sam's left cheek appears and disappears. See more »

Quotes

George: It's not my back that's killing me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Character Building: Inside 'Life as a House' (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

That's the Way
Written by Theo Goutzinakis, Tom Thacker, Gabriel Mantle and Craig Wood
Performed by Gob
Courtesy of Nettwerk Productions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Surprised this didn't get more recognition
23 September 2004 | by rantinghumanSee 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.


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