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A manipulative tearjerker, Life as a House benefits from fine performances from the cast.
All Critics (105)
| Top Critics (31)
| Fresh (49)
| Rotten (56)
| DVD (10)
Gauged strictly by the gag-factor, a more honest title might be Life as a Basement Apartment with Bad Light and a Dank Smell.
The movie gets us to feel about the characters, their relationships, and their circumstances, and that goes a long way towards allowing us to forgive the screenplays' occasional mis-steps and wrong turns.
Life as a House reaches easily past all your intellectual and emotional barriers, back into that spot behind your heart, where the levers that release tears are stored.
There's a prefab construction to Life as a House that prevents it from acquiring the emotional solidness it needs to stand out.
House may suffer from excessive and unnecessary ornamentation, but its foundation -- Kline's performance -- is solid and strong.
Kline never lets the soap-opera implications get the better of him.
This father-son melodrama is well acted, but it's too solemn and too concerned with being inspirational
Uneven but moving story of reconcilliation.
Remember the movie Terms of Endearment, about a mother-daughter relationship, a terminal illness and a message about not taking people for granted?
Thank goodness there are actors capable of delivering performances better than the scripts they're given. Too bad there aren't more of them in this movie.
Life as a House is no cinematic masterpiece but it stays with you.
...the people who assembled Life as a House imagined it as a kind of American Beauty for the slightly more-literal-minded, for those who hated or felt baffled that film will likely like and apprehend this one.
Everytime aging Kevin Kline glooms over the welcoming sea and remembers when his wife loved him and holding his toddler son in the sand, laughing and crying, and then that music hits for five solid minutes, i just know, like telepathically that my grandmother is watching this same movie on t.v. and crying her eyes backward into her head, except she also hears the hateful, offensive rock soundtrack and so she silently judges it while she weeps.
I am a big fan of Kevin Kline, and I think that this is one of his best movies. Very moving, and very well done. Great for anyone who likes a good drama.
George is having a bad year. Divorced, alone, estranged from his loser son, behind the times, he has no motivation. Then in the same day he gets fired and finds out he has terminal cancer. What a start to a movie!
I enjoy this sort of movie - as George is dying, he resolves his issues with his ex-wife and son, Sam. Sam is having a tough time of it as well - needing drugs just to get by and withdrawing from the world. With the help of Alyssa, Sam helps his dad build a house and becomes less self-centred.
strange but compelling at times
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