American Playhouse (1981– )
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Life Under Water 

Young man, who can't get along with the rest of the world, especially his mother, decides to try to take his life in his own hands.


Jay Holman


Richard Greenberg (screenplay), Richard Greenberg (based on his play)


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Episode cast overview:
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Amy-Beth
Haviland Morris ... Amy-Joy
Keanu Reeves ... Kip
Joanna Gleason ... Jinx
Stephen McHattie ... Hank


Young man, who can't get along with the rest of the world, especially his mother, decides to try to take his life in his own hands.

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Release Date:

12 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

American Playhouse See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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User Reviews

The last of Keanu's teenage characters with pathos
21 June 2002 | by videobrooklynSee all my reviews

By the time Keanu completed Life Under Water, he was about 25 years old, and had played a number of characters who were alienated, bemused and emotionally-adrift middle-class teenagers. This production, which aims to be literate and sophisticated, much in the vain of "Butterflies are Free", adds a new element to Keanu's familiar teen portrayal, and that element signals the end of Keanu's roles as an innocent in a drama. I enjoyed the energy and wittiness of all the characters, especially the one played by a young Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex in the City), however the moral of this tale, if there is one, is rather obtuse, and the ending leaves me feeling the story is incomplete. The crisis in this film is not as strident as the one in "River's Edge" or "Permanent Record," but this living-room drama feels compelling to watch up until its, for me, unsatisfactory ending.

It's worth giving it a watch if it appears on television--also noting the 25 year old Keanu looks beautiful, and is not as awkward as in the earlier teen films, or the "Ted" films to come. It was originally broadcast on PBS' American Playhouse, and so may be re-broadcast on one of your local PBS stations.

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