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
Screenwriter Mark Andrus is a fan of the band Guster, and named the dog after the band and two of the characters (Ryan and Adam) after two of the band members. Two of Guster's songs are featured in the movie. See more »
When Alisya is talking to Robin about her coming everyday to help with the house, Alisya's hair repeatedly jumps from her shoulder to hanging down her back between shots. See more »
I am a college professor and teach a variety of psychology classes, general, adolescent, child, human relations, etc. I have shown this movie to every class and it never fails to grab everyone's attention. Every time I see it I find something else to admire...usually a line I've missed previously. It took about 10 times for me to pick up on "Thinking of jumping? No, pushing." Granted, I'm slow. It is a film that every parent and child should see, together. The acting is meticulous. Hayden Christensen is so good as a troubled teen that I hated him as Darth Vader. He will always be Sam. If you aren't crying or fighting back the tears than you obviously were born without a heart. Oh yes, I'm a father.
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