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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2005
I did not one bit expect this film to be as good as it was! The acting in it is amazing, especially from Kevin Kline & Hayden Christensen. It is about a father, George (Kevin Kline) who has been divorced from his ex-wife, Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas), recently lost his job, and found out he has cancer. He attempts to build the house of his dreams and asks his gothic son, Sam (Hayden Christensen) who has his own problems, for help and to spend the Summer with him and help build this house. This has consequences for Robin's new life and family and also the people surrounding George. e.g. his son, neighbours etc..
I cried so much during this film, trying to force myself to hold it in because my family were sleeping, but it would'nt work.
100% worth watching!! Just be aware that the tears will be strolling down your face throughout this film!
It's fantastic!! I feel like watching it again right now, but I'm in work. I will definitely be watchin' and roaring tonight.. hehe!
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on 12 July 2003
I bought this film partly because of good reviews and partly I was curious to see how good an actor Hayden Christensen was away from Star Wars. I was pleasantly surprised. OK, the story is a bit predictable, but in this film it's really the acting that makes it so good. Kevin Kline trying to sort out his son and get his house built before it's too late, Kristin Scott Thomas as the mother who has built a new life, but finds herself falling in love with her ex again. And Christensen gives a way better performance here than in Attack of the Clones. OK, I thought he was alright in that, but here he really is great as the angry young man wanting to feel valued.
All three leads make a very believable family and do a good job of portraying all the conflicts, both outward and internal, of their respective characters.
It's very rarely I find a film that gets me so engrossed, but this one does. Definitely better than the average Hollywood tear-jerker and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
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on 12 March 2003
A friend had practically forced this film on me and said it was really good, but I was a bit sceptical as to whether I should watch another film with the Hayden Christensen in it. After seeing Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the droids - I mean Clones, I was convinced that he could not act, but he has redeemed himself nicely in Life As A House picking up a Golden Globe Nomination along the way.
The film revolves around a George (Kevin Kline) who has been told he has 4 months to live, due to cancer. He decides to fill his life ambition by building his first and last and only house. Along the way he is assisted by his estranged son Sam(Hayden Christensen), who experiments in various drugs and dabbles in small time prostitution to fund his addiction. I won't spoil he rest.
Anyway, I have never cried at any movie, but I must admit I almost did with this one. The end result is almost heartbreaking and the actors are wonderfully cast.
This film is in a league of its own, just like American Beauty - watch it.
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on 12 June 2005
"I always thought of myself as a house. I was always what I lived in. It didn't need to be big. It didn't even need to be beautiful. It just needed to be mine". That phrase, said by George, the main character of this movie, is in my opinion a good introduction to a review about "Life a house".

George (Kevin Kline) is a divorced architect who is sacked from a job he hated. Immediately after that, he collapses and is taken to a hospital, where he gets bad news: he is going to die in a few months. George has to come to terms with the fact that he has terminal cancer, and only some months left to live. Wanting to make the best of it, George decides to build the house he always wanted to have, and get to know better his 16 year-old son son Sam (Hayden Christensen), who lives with his ex-wife, Robin (Kristin Scott-Thomas).

Robin is now married to a successful man, and has new sons, but doesn't relate well to her older son, who is highly problematic, uses drugs, and has a very negative attitude towards everything. That is probably the reason why she allows Sam to live with George during his summer holidays. Things won't be easy between George and Sam, though, because Sam resents George for leaving him with his mother. Father and son don't have a strong relationship now, or rather they don't have any kind of relationship besides the biological one. That is something that George will try to change, as he and Sam tear down a shack that was willed to him by his father, and begin to build a new one.

Soon enough, building the house begins to be an affair of many more than two, as Robin, her kids, and some new friends that Sam makes start to help. As the house begins to take shape, the spectator almost sees old wounds closing, even as fights abound. But what will happen when Sam finds out about his father's illness?. See this movie, and find out... I think this film is worth your time, and that you don't regret watching it :)

It is important to point out, however, that "Life as a house" is not adequate for children, as it contains some sexual scenes and strong language. Morever, it touches upon subjects as prostitution and drug abuse. Despite that, those characteristics fit the story, and aren't in the film just for the sake of it.

All in all, I believe that Irwin Winkler should be congratulated on having directed such a good movie. The cast was excellent, and you won't be able to do anything but immerse yourself in the movie, and in the story that "Life as a house" brings to you. In a word, outstanding.

Belen Alcat
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on 4 September 2002
The first time I saw this film, granted, was because I knew some of the cast, but after the first half hour the outstanding performances and story line takes off on its own. Though not the most unique story line (father gets cancer and tries to fix son's behaviour problems) Hayden Christensen plays off Kevin Kline's acting beautiful producing an invoking and emotional film that messed with my emotions from start to finish. The music breaks my heart everytime I listen to it. Watch out for a complete stripping down of human emotion in this film - I have no hesitation recommending it to anyone. "Change can be so slow, that you don't even know your life is better or worse until it is".
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on 3 August 2004
I didn't think about what to expect out of this movie, however ordered it as Jena Malone is my fav actress. The movie turned out to be great in many ways, mainly being emotionally powerful...and being a 22 year old male student its hard to find stuff like this.
The characters throughout the movie all play well, and the storyline is based around reality. However, there is mild humour, which I think is great...definately worth watching.
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on 3 January 2004
Truly one of my all time favourite films if not the favourite. Kline and Christensen are supreme and ably supported by Scott Thomas. (The teen girl in it is damn cute too but that is not the reason to watch this film!)
The acting is brilliantly believable and more than likely you will be left in streams of tears as the credits roll and not mainly for sad reasons that you might suspect - in this respect and many others it is not a predictable film and you will be left uplifted.
If you have any soul you will love this film and if you have even just one small part of your heart left unhardened by this world, this film will find it for you!
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on 15 December 2015
I only bought this movie because Jena Malone was in it. I love Donnie Darko and especially Jena's part in it so i took a chance on a couple of other films with her in, this being one of them. I'm really glad i did as it's a very poignant emotional film. A film about life, relationships, love, family and mortality. BIG themes that run though all our lives. There are lighter moments through out though, the film has a fair bit of light and shade. I cried a lot watching this film (some thing guys seem to find hard to admit these days) . There are lots of little surprises and things you don't expect through out the film which add hugely to it's appeal for me. Jena Malone's character Alyssa is free thinking and a free spirit, Hayden Christensen plays the angry, mixed up son Sam and Kristin Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline play his separated parents. All of these parts are wonderfully played. Mary Steenburgen is also great. This film is one of those nice surprises for me, you take a chance and get a winner, i know i'll watch this film many many more times. Very moving and full of surprises.
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on 31 October 2006
I was told by a close friend that I had to watch this film, not only because of Hayden Christensen's role in it, but because of the plot. I started watching it quite critically, thinking that it would be a typical American film, with long, drawn out speeches and massive, unlikey character changes. I'm so thankful I gave it a chance. I found myself becoming wrapped up entirely in the plot and in floods of tears by the end.

Overall, I was very impressed by the film and would definitely watch it again.
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on 19 December 2006
I am a typically hard guy who is tough to make crack with emotions but this movie sucked me right in.

Kevin Kline is a terrific actor who excels in this role made for him.

All support actors are equally as good in this underrated film.

A must watch!
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