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Life as a House (New Line Platinum Series)

4.6 out of 5 stars 511 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

LIFE AS A HOUSE - DVD Movie

Special Features

  • Two original documentaries: "Character Building: Inside Life as a House" (24 min.) and "From the Ground Up" (10 min.)
  • Four deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • DVD-ROM: Script-to-screen

Product Details

  • Actors: Hayden Christensen, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jena Malone, Mary Steenburgen
  • Directors: Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Mark Andrus
  • Producers: Irwin Winkler, Brian E. Frankish, Lynn Harris, Michael De Luca, Rob Cowan
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (511 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005YUPC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,041 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life as a House (New Line Platinum Series)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Somebody once said that "life" is what happens when you're not looking. And it's so true. Too often we let the years slip by, and the important things slip right along with them; and it's only when something happens that we start to pay attention, and by then it's too late to do anything about it. The good news, however, is that as long as you're still breathing there's still a chance to make amends, or at least try to. You can try, not to make up for past mistakes (and we've all made them), but to make "today" count, which is what a man at a particular juncture in his life discovers and sets out to do, in "Life As A House," directed by Irwin Winkler, and starring Kevin Kline.
George Monroe (Kline) is an architect, a man who can design anything, with the exception of that which is the most important: His own life. He has a failed marriage-- now divorced for ten years from Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas)-- a failed relationship with his now sixteen-year-old son, Sam (Hayden Christensen), he's getting on in years and he's unhappy, which is driven home by circumstances involving his job and his health that make him abruptly sit up and take notice. His "house," literally and figuratively, in not in order. And he decides to do something about it. He's determined to tear down his old house and rebuild a new one, and he begins by arranging for Sam to come and live with him for the summer. And it will be a summer that will affect, not only George and Sam, but Robin, and a number of others, as well; a summer in which the trivial things of life are put on hold; and for once, the important things are embraced.
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By E. Mullen on October 17, 2001
Life as a House is not the most original movie you'll ever see, but for what it is, it's wonderful. George, Kevin Klein's character, is living a miserable life when the movie begins. He is divorced from his ex-wife who he still loves; estranged from his 16 year-old son, who is unhappy and using drugs; and hates his home, a shack on a beautiful cliff in Malibu. Then one day George visits his ex-wife, who asks him to take their son, Sam, for the summer; loses his job; and finds out he has only a few months to live. George decides to tear down the shack, which his dad willed to him and he hates, and build a house he'll be proud to give his son. He tells his ex he'll take Sam for the summer, so that they can help each other, and tells no one of his cancer. The scenery and cinematography in this movie alone make it worth seeing. There are breathtaking scenes from the cliff in Malibu, as well as from the ex-wife's back yard; and that's where most of the movie takes place. The story may not be a new one, but it is beautiful. There are some seemingly unnecessary sub-plots I could've done without, and some of the characters needed more dept or explaining, but the main characters feel like people you've known for years. The movie is a little over 2 hours, but does not drag throughout, a big feat considering it's a drama, and doesn't try to be anything more. This movie won't challenge you, but would be nice for a quite evening out; it needs to be seen on a big screen. I recommend it.
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Format: DVD
...I finally decided to watch Life as a House. I loved it! I almost let myself get scared off by other reviewers' mentions of drug abuse, autoerotic hanging scene, pimping out of young boys to homosexuals, etc. Yes, all of the above is in Life. But - it is all necessary to the movie. You are not supposed to love (or even LIKE) the characters as they are introduced in this movie. George, the cancer-striken father, is self-absorbed and insensitive. Sam, his drug-abusing son, is so filled with hate that it causes him to act out in ways that were really difficult for me to watch. The beauty of Life as a House is that you begin to care about the characters because they change and grow. I can't think of anyone in Hollywood better to play such difficult roles than Kevin Kline and Hayden Christensen. It was so hard for me to feel sympathetic to Sam's character because of the choices he made, but Hayden Christensen's performance really brought me around by the end of the film. Instead of coasting by on his good looks like most young actors (Orlando Bloom, anyone?)Christensen always brings such a strength of character to his roles and I really respect him for that. All of the actors in this film really bring so much sincerity and honesty to their roles. I also recommend watching the featurette "Building Character: Inside Life as a House". It really gives you a feel for the movie as the director envisioned it. You also see a side of Kevin Kline, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Hayden Christensen that added so much to my enjoyment of the movie. This could have been such a cliche of a movie with the oft-seen themes of death, life, and reconciliation. But it was handled with such a deft touch by the director, writer, and the actors that it really comes off well. I enjoyed Life as a House very much, will almost certainly watch it again, and thank the other Amazon.com reviewers for both warning me and intriguing me about this great movie.
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By A Customer on November 17, 2001
Life as a house is a brilliant movie. There is never a dull moment. Although it does not have war planes crashing at every second, it still keeps your attention. The story is about a divorced man (Kevin Kline)who has drifted from his family and from his son espcially. His son visits him on certain weekends and doesn't like it too much. Then the dad finds out he is going too die soon so he wants to do the things in his life that he has put off for so long, like rebuilding his beach shack and reconnecting with his lost son, Sam (Hayden Christensen). Hayden Christensen turned in a beautiful performance and he really makes you feel what the character was feeling. Sam is somewhat of a case. Certainly not the kind of kid your parents wanted you hanging around. It will surely be a long time before I forget this film, not only because of the wonderful story line and intense drama, but for the wonderful Oscar deserving performances also. Espcially by newcomer Hayden Christensen(Anakin Skywalker in upcoming Episode 2). He really portrayed his character, Sam, perfectly. He is an outstanding actor; not just for a newcomer. He really gets your attention.
Life As A House is one of the best films I have ever seen. It was certainly a memorable film.
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