7.5/10
41,818
355 user 98 critic

Life as a House (2001)

R | | Drama | 9 November 2001 (USA)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was discovered he fabricated over half of his articles from the publication The New Republic magazine.

Director: Billy Ray
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A man involved in a horrific car crash is pronounced dead, only to come back to life an hour and a half later, claiming to have seen Heaven.

Director: Michael Polish
Stars: Kate Bosworth, Hayden Christensen, Hudson Meek
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

James owes his life to his older brother, Frankie after taking the rap for a crime they committed together. While Frankie served time, James worked to turn his life around, got a steady job and began courting his former girlfriend Emily. Now, Frankie is released and back on the streets with no money and no place to go.

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Adrien Brody, Jordana Brewster
Adventure | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Young Florentines take refuge from the black plague and engage in bawdy adventures and lusty exchanges.

Director: David Leland
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Mischa Barton, Ryan Cartwright
Awake (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wealthy young man undergoing heart transplant surgery discovers that the surgical team intend to murder him.

Director: Joby Harold
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Terrence Howard
Jumper (2008)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A teenager with teleportation abilities suddenly finds himself in the middle of an ancient war between those like him and their sworn annihilators.

Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell
The Last Man (2018)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Kurt, combat veteran with PTSD and hallucinations, fortifies his home and builds a secret underground shelter due to doomsday like weather changes. He gets a security job to pay for it and his boss' cute daughter for company.

Director: Rodrigo H. Vila
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Harvey Keitel, Marco Leonardi
Trapped in a Purple Haze (TV Movie 2000)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a charismatic teenager falters under constant pressure from his parents and school, he makes a potentially deadly mistake.

Director: Eric Laneuville
Stars: Jonathan Jackson, JoBeth Williams, Carly Pope
Free Fall (1999)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

An NTSB investigator (Jaclyn Smith) and her boyfriend (Bruce Boxleitner), who works for the FAA, investigate a series of similar and suspicious plane crashes that seem to be affecting only one airline.

Director: Mario Azzopardi
Stars: Hannes Jaenicke, Jaclyn Smith, Bruce Boxleitner
De-Lovely (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.

Director: Irwin Winkler
Stars: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

The population of Detroit has almost completely disappeared, but a few remain. As daylight disappears they realize that the Dark is coming for them.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo
Little Italy (2018)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A young couple must navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families' competing pizza restaurants.

Director: Donald Petrie
Stars: Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen, Danny Aiello
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$294,056, 28 October 2001

Gross USA:

$15,667,270

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,903,791
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Released shortly before Hayden Christensen came to prominence for playing Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. Kevin Kline has been a frequent collaborator of Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan, having appeared in Kevin Kline, Silverado (1985), I Love You to Death (1990), Grand Canyon (1991), French Kiss (1995), and Darling Companion (2012). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

George: [to Sam] Everything about you is my business. What you smoke, what you sniff, what you swallow. It's all my business.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD has the one scene that William Russ filmed playing the role of Officer Kurt Walker before a motorbike crash made unable to film the rest of his role See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Reservations (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Rainy Day
Written by Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner and Brian Rosenworcel
Performed by Guster
Courtesy of London-Sire Records, Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
About Putting Your "House" In Order
12 May 2002 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

Somebody once said that `life' is what happens when you're not looking. And it's so true. Too often we let the years slip by, and the important things slip right along with them; and it's only when something happens that we start to pay attention, and by then it's too late to do anything about it. The good news, however, is that as long as you're still breathing there's still a chance to make amends, or at least try to. You can try, not to make up for past mistakes (and we've all made them), but to make `today' count, which is what a man at a particular juncture in his life discovers and sets out to do, in `Life As A House,' directed by Irwin Winkler, and starring Kevin Kline.

George Monroe (Kline) is an architect, a man who can design anything, with the exception of that which is the most important: His own life. He has a failed marriage-- now divorced for ten years from Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas)-- a failed relationship with his now sixteen-year-old son, Sam (Hayden Christensen), he's getting on in years and he's unhappy, which is driven home by circumstances involving his job and his health that make him abruptly sit up and take notice. His `house,' literally and figuratively, in not in order. And he decides to do something about it. He's determined to tear down his old house and rebuild a new one, and he begins by arranging for Sam to come and live with him for the summer. And it will be a summer that will affect, not only George and Sam, but Robin, and a number of others, as well; a summer in which the trivial things of life are put on hold; and for once, the important things are embraced.

Working from a well written and insightful screenplay (by Mark Andrus), Winkler delivers a drama that is thoughtful and poignant (at times, even poetic), wonderfully acted and beautifully filmed by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. Rich in metaphor, it's an engrossing film that works on a number of levels, and will appeal to a wide audience-- many of whom will relate to George and his situation, others who will identify with Sam; and for some, it may hit strikingly too close to home. Whatever your personal situation is, it will fall somewhere within the emotional arc Winkler creates here; and if it doesn't now, it will eventually. Because, as this film so trenchantly points out, `life' happens. And the most important thing is knowing what to do with it-- if not the first time around, then at least before it's too late.

He received an Oscar for his portrayal of Otto in the comedy `A Fish Called Wanda,' but Kevin Kline decidedly hits his stride in dramatic roles: As Nathan in `Sophie's Choice,' Mack in `Grand Canyon' or Ben in `The Ice Storm,' for example; and now here, as George Monroe. Kline brings George believably to life, with a performance that hints at who George was, but most importantly tells us who he is now. With understated subtly, he conveys his inner-most feelings in a way that enables the audience to make that all-important emotional connection with the character. He makes you feel as though you know him; and once you do, and once you meet Robin, it's hard to understand what went wrong between them all those years ago. One can only assume that somewhere along the line youth and a lack of focus took it's toll-- understandable in a world that bombards us daily with endless stimuli. And it's one of the subtle perspectives that makes this film so effective.

Kristin Scott Thomas gives a convincing performance, as well, as Robin, a woman who has moved on with her life, but in whom you can discern a certain dissatisfaction with her current situation. On the surface, her life seems agreeable, but we see through her portrayal that it is still lacking in some regard. She seems happy to some extent, but it's more like the unfulfilled happiness that comes when one has `settled' for something. You get the sense that what she has with her current husband, Peter (Jamey Sheridan), is somehow less than what she had with George, at least at some point or other. Thomas does a good job of indicating the complexities of her character, dipping beneath the surface to make what could have been a one-note character alive and interesting.

One of the real rewards of this film, however, is found in the wonderfully affecting performance of young Hayden Christensen, as Sam. With but a few TV appearances and a handful of unremarkable films to his credit (the exception being a part in Sophia Coppola's `The Virgin Suicides'), Christensen is virtually an unknown, but comes through with some extremely impressive work here. He not only finds, but manages to convey, that turmoil of confusion and need for personal identity that every teenager experiences, and he presents it quite naturally and effectively. There's nothing feigned or pretentious about him; the Sam he delivers comes from somewhere deep down inside, and working from the inside out makes him very real and believable. It's a performance that should jump-start his career, which is about to be catapulted into high gear/high profile status when `Star Wars: Episode 2, Attack of the Clones' hits the screen, in which he plays the role of Anakin Skywalker. And because of the magnitude of that film and all that goes along with it, he will never receive the acclaim he deserves, no matter how good a job he does in it; so it's important that he has this film under his belt, which demonstrates what a truly gifted young actor he really is, a fact that may be overlooked once `Clones' hits (which is what happened to Leonardo DiCaprio after `Titanic'). And Christensen's performance here is a big part of what makes `Life As A House' a winner. I rate this one 9/10.


50 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 355 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed