Life As a House

Rated NR

Director Irwin Winkler's sappy melodrama piles on gobs of emotional schmaltz as an alienated father unites his dysfunctional family through long-winded predictability. Kevin Kline stars as a jaded architect with a terminal illness who decides to follow the "life is short" motto and save his troubled son (Hayden Christensen) from fully going over to the Dark Side. He also tries to rekindle an old flame with his disapproving ex-wife (Kristen Scott Thomas), and gain acceptance from the condemning community while he is at it. The metaphor of building a house is the attempt at originality that writer Mark Andrus uses to make this magical ball of happiness come together, but all that rises is a monotonous and easily forgettable film.

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