On the down side, George (Kevin Kline) lives is an old paint chipped garage turned shack at the beach in a fairly decent neighborhood. The run down habitat sticks out like an sore thumb and his neighbors have become quit annoyed with him over the appearance. Even his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and has left with their two boys.
By day, George is an architect building intricate models of fantastic homes and landscapes and he's been at the company over 20 years. When he's called into the office and let go, he pretty much looses it and destroys all of the dream homes he had proudly displayed for the company. His life seems to be falling apart.
When he find out he has cancer, he starts taking a serious look at his life about what's important and how he feels he's neglected his family and wants to make amends with his troubled son Sam (Hayden Christiansen), who hates him. George is determined to reconnect with Sam and forces him to spend the summer tearing down the shack and build the home of his dreams. George is determined to leave a legacy to his son, to make up for all the years he hasn't been a good father to him.
Sam kicks and screams but is forced to deal with his father, as well as, understand his rebellious self. Eventually the entire family works together for the cause and finds the love they've been missing.
2001 - Life as a House - National Board of Review - Breakthrough Performance of the Year
New Line Cinema
Director: Irwin Winkler
Writer: Mark Andrus
Producers: Rob Cowan, Irwin Winkler