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Genres: Drama , Romance
Actors: Kevin Kline , Kristin Scott Thomas , Hayden Christensen , Jena Malone , Mary Steenburgen , Mike Weinberg , Scotty Leavenworth , Ian Somerhalder , Jamey Sheridan , Scott Bakula , Sandra Nelson , Sam Robards , John Pankow , Kim Delgado , Barry Primus
Director: Irwin Winkler
Country: United States
Year: 2001
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 (29140 votes)

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. Getting Sam to do any of it will not be an easy task as Sam, who has embarked on some self-destructive behavior, would rather do anything than spend time with his family, which also includes his mother Robin Kimball, her wealthy but emotionally unaffectionate husband Peter Kimball, and their adolescent children. In Sam, George sees an unhappy person in every aspect of his life, much like George was himself before that fateful day. What Sam decides to do for the summer may consider Alyssa Beck, his pretty classmate and George’s next door neighbor. Through the process, George also reconnects with Robin, who admits that she’s made some pretty bad decisions in her life. He may not want that reconnection to go too far considering his health. Ultimately George has much to do to complete all he wants before he dies.

Film Review

This film is perfect for anyone who needs a little inspiration in their life. All of the characters are there, so there will probably be someone you can relate to. And to go along with them, are several sub plots, that coincide with the main story. This is really and excellent movie that has a lot to offer.The critics were a little hard on Life as a House, when it was release back in 2001, and I don't buy their reasoning. There was the complaint that, not even at the half way point, the viewer will be able to guess how the movie ends. This might have some truth to it, however that virtually does not diminish its quality at all. There are plenty of movies where we can accurately predict the outcome, but does that make us not want to see how they get there? Not at all. I'm sure anyone would guess that James Bond and Superman will save the day in their respective movies, but, for some reason it matters less for people watching those titles.Without giving anything away or going in…

It's not often I fall for those sappy melodramas ofttimes categorized as 'chick flicks'. One exception is director Irwin Winkler's 'Life as a House'. A mediocre performer at the box office in 2001, it's now paying for itself in video sales, and can be seen this month on the Love Stories channel.One reason for my affection for this film has to be that it so hits home for me. Not only is the central plot device one of my pet editorial subjects – the juxtaposition of multi-million dollar homes against pre-WWII ramshackles along California's coastline, the theme elements are some the greatest causes of my generation's middle-aged angst. Most particular among these are our success or failure as spouses and parents.Briefly, the central character, George Monroe, who occupies a dilapidated old shack situated on a prime piece of seabluff (think Laguna Beach, although filming was actually done at Rancho Palos Verdes' Long Point, former site of the histori…

Kevin Kline portrays George Monroe – a father that is disconnected from his angst-ridden son, Sam Monroe (played by Hayden Christensen). Robin (played by Kristin Scott Thomas) and George have been divorced for 10 years, and their son Sam feels that he does not fit in at the house with her new husband and children. He resorts to getting high with pills or by huffing, and tries to end his life. George worked at an architecture firm until he is fired and he has a breakdown at work. As a result, he finds out he has cancer and only has 2-3 months to live.After George's diagnosis, he pushes Sam to stay with him for the summer at his house – which is really just a garage with a bed and a house crumbling around it. George has decided to knock down his old house and build a new one – something he can leave behind for Sam. George realizes that life isn't what you live, it is what you make with it – which is the theme throughout the movie.The lighting throughout the…