George Monroe (Kevin Kline) 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 in which he has lived 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 (Hayden Christensen), to live with him for the summer, hopefully not only to help in the house construction, but ...Written by
People have said that Hayden Christiansen's performance was whiny and unbelievable, but, speaking as a 16 year old, I have to say I found it more believable than any other actor portraying a teenager ever. He was angst-y, angry, especially his parents, moody, distrustful, etc. And that's everything we are. Speaking as an expert whiner, yes, teenagers really are that whiney and we are that mad at the world and Hayden pulls off the anger and frustration perfectly. Some of the lines he said were familiar to me because I've heard them before in my own home. Hayden's performance was no less than stellar and he perfectly acts the rebellious, outraged teenager of the 2000s. I should know. :)
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