13 December 2010

Movie Mondays: Life as a House

Today's movie monday is a movie I know very well. I first saw it around age nine or ten, and it was one of the first R-rated movies I ever saw. You know how sometimes kids will watch a movie and then like it so much they just want to watch it over and over again because they don't know of many other good movies to watch? That's kind of how I was like with this film, meaning it pretty instantly became one of my favorite movies and was rented for any and every sleepover until the only movie store copy was too scratched to watch and we bought our own copy. Because of this, when I think of this movie now it reminds me of a kid's film, even though it's rated R and I technically shouldn't have been able to see it until I was 17. So I'm going to recommend it to you anyways, in hopes that its an enjoyable movie to those who didn't first watch it in elementary school lol.

The film is Life As a House, starring Hayden Christensen, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Jena Malone. All four of them are marvelous.

 Kevin Kline plays George, a divorced, middle-aged architect who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. With only a few months left to live, he decides he wants his last act to be tearing down the shack his father left him and building a beautiful new house to leave for his teenage son. His son Sam (Hayden Christensen), however, is caught up in a world of drugs, depression, and general teenage angst- the kind that involves hating his parents and his life but still caring about what everyone else thinks. Sam plans on spending the summer getting high in his friend's cabin in Tahoe, and is less than pleased when his father insists that Sam will be spending the summer with him. As the days roll on, however, Sam begins to clean up with the help of his father and the charming girl next door, Alyssa (Jena Malone). Meanwhile, George begins to reconnect with Sam's mother and his ex-wife, Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas). Most importantly, though, Sam and George begin to understand each other and reform the father-son relationship they once had. 

Now, keep in mind that I fell in love with this movie at a pretty young and cinematically inexperienced age, so my opinions might be slightly biased and skewed as to how good this film is. Personally, though, I thought the setting was absolutely beautiful, the characters were pretty well-developed, and a great deal of the script writing was very well done.

Overall, it's a really touching story about love, loss, family, and the possibility to change. I think it just recently went up on Netflix instant, so watch it if you have a chance. Here's the trailer:

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