7.5/10
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359 user 98 critic

Life as a House (2001)

R | | Drama | 9 November 2001 (USA)
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.

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Josh
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Peter Kimball
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Officer Kurt Walker
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Nurse #1
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David Dokos
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Bryan Burke
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Bob Larson
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Tom
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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

9 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Haus am Meer  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$294,056 (USA) (28 October 2001)

Gross:

$15,652,637 (USA) (30 December 2001)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Russ was cast as Officer Kurt Walker and had filmed one scene, but before he could film the rest of his role he was injured in motorbike crash and was replaced by Scott Bakula. See more »

Goofs

The sun appears to rise in the same place in the sky as it sets. See more »

Quotes

George: I have hated this house from the moment my father put it in my name. Imagine, 29 years of hating what you're living in, hating what you *are*. This is the end of it, Sam. I'm finally building something of my own. Something I can be proud to give you.
Sam: Don't. I don't want it.
George: Fine. You can do what you want with it. All I want you to remember is that we built a house together.
Sam: You didn't build shit. You're just tearing your father down.
George: That's right. It feels good.
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Connections

Featured in Charlie Rose: Episode dated 2 August 2010 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere
Written by Default
Performed by Default
Courtesy of TVT Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Surprised this didn't get more recognition
23 September 2004 | by (Phoenix AZ) – See all my reviews

"Life as a House" is not an easy film to watch. Its story is piercingly poignant, sometimes depraved, and unbearably sad. If you insist on flashy amusements and naive happy endings in your films, this is not for you. If you are "real" though, about the dynamics of our troubled lives, then it is for you. And if you are sensitive, then this is a film you can only watch about once a year.

It is well written, directed, and acted, especially by Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas. Hayden Christensen gives us the same believable anger, sullenness and pathos as his Anakin Skywalker character did in Episode II; maybe better. He makes a good troubled teen. And Jena Malone is good with the script she is dealt.

I'd recommend this film to anyone.


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