Borrowing liberally from superior cine-predecessors like Ordinary People and American Beauty, Life As A House is a dull domestic melodrama. In it, a dying father (Kevin Kline), his ex-wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and their troubled son (Hayden `Anakin Skywalker' Christensen) reconnect one summer as they build a house together. They bond against the backdrop of fiery sunsets and clunky symbolism; we cover our mouths to stifle yawns and vomit.
Dripping with smug `wit' and clichéd self-help maxims (""hindsight is like foresight without a future""), LAAH is further hamstrung by the performances. Thomas' American accent wobbles like jello on a straw, Kline strives for - and misses - an Oscar nom, and Christensen's obviously been watching James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause, picking up the moody mannerisms but none of the subtlety.
So dismal you'll wish you were at home re-grouting your bathroom.