Movie #92 Life as a House
(2001, US, d. Irwin Winkler)
I’ve heard many good things about this film, but unfortunately, I can’t repeat any of them here. This movie calls itself a drama about a cancer-ridden failed father who tries to patch up the relationships of those around him in his last few months alive. What it actually was: a melodramatic, set-in-its-own-reality, weird tear-jerker about the easiest way to force the audience’s sympathy and two hours of teenage cliched nonsense. Sure, it featured a strong performance from Kevin Kline, but I can’t really see that it was a real difficult character to get into. I mean, all Kline did was say a line, watch his children, smile, tear up a little, and die – all while representing the most New Age and Buddhist life philosophies. This is the American Beauty for teenage girls who will prefer Forever 21 over Prada any day. This is the Hallmark card that barely got put on the shelves and the one that grandmothers weep over. This is that obnoxious film you know was only produced so it could win awards but it wasn’t even good enough to get nominated for anything but a Golden Globe. I’m not going to attempt to analyze this movie – not because it never sets out to be analyzed, but because it doesn’t deserve it. But in any case, if you’re looking for an easy weeper flick and you want to feel brand-inspiration and generic positivity, by all means, rent Life as a House.