Life as a House

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Life as a House is a 2001 film about a man who, after is diagnosed with terminal cancer, takes custody of his misanthropic teenage son, for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father.

Directed by Irwin Winkler. Written by Mark Andrus.
Seen from a distance, it's perfect.. tagline

George Monroe[edit]

  • Twenty-five years ago, my father crossed a double line. Changed my life, and the life of a little girl forever for that mistake. I just cant's stop thinking about her. With every crash of every wave I hear something now. I never listened before. I'm on the edge of a cliff, listening. Almost finished. If you were a house Sam, this is where you'd want to be build. On rock, facing the sea, listening, listening.
  • I put a gun to my father's head once. Ever think like that? He was passed out. Had just been yelling at my mom over nothing. Under-cooked meat. I went to my room, I held the barrel right up to his ear, and then I chickened out again. Of course it was a BB gun but still it would have hurt like hell.
  • You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant you don't even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don't even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant. It happened to me.
  • I always thought of myself as a house. I was always what I lived in. It didn't need to be big. It didn't even need to be beautiful. It just needed to be mine. I became what I was meant to be. I built myself a life. I built myself a house.
  • Do I still love you? Absolutely. There is not a doubt in my mind. Through all my mind, my ego... I was always faithful in my love for you. That I made you doubt it, that is the great mistake of a life full of mistakes. The truth doesn't set us free, Robin. I can tell you I love you as many times as you can stand to hear it and all that does, the only thing, is remind us... that love is not enough. Not even close.
  • The game was to make me smaller than he was; smaller always smaller. No matter what. He could be almost invisible as a human being, but I still had to be smaller. So if I got good grades in school then I was a pussy for not playing football. If I cut my hair for him it was never short enough, or if I shaved my head then I looked like a psycho. I never won the game, ever. And if he couldn't make me smaller with words...

Sam Monroe[edit]

  • Thank you for talking about me behind my back - that'll be useful in court.
  • I think there has to be a door between where you cook and where you crap. Even in the bush - tribal people, you know, they have a place for both. Probably it's like a law. God! It's probably in the Bible. It's at least a building code violation.
  • Why can't you all just die and leave me alone?


Robin: Oh, I dreamed about your house last night.
George: Finished or unfinished?
Robin: No, it was perfect George. Amazing. And so real.
George: Didn't you once dream that you could lick people well?
Robin: That was a dream about Sam.
George: Oh yeah, his ear infection.
Robin: My tongue around the edge of his ear is what cured him.
George: You think you could go in there and lick his attitude?
Robin: The antibiotics were not working and that is what I believe, George. I have a few hours before I have to pick up the boys, where will I be most useful?
George: Your hands or your tongue?
Robin: You're not well.
George: I have hated this house, from the moment my father put it in my name. Twenty-five years of hating what you live in, of hating what you are! This is the end of it Sam. I can finally build something of my own, something I can be proud to give you.
Sam: Don't, I don't want it.
George: Fine, you can do whatever you want with it. All I want is for you to remember that we built a house together.
Sam: We haven't built shit. You're just tearing your father down.
George: Try it, feels good.

George: Take that thumbtack out of your chin.
Sam: Why?
George: It bugs me!
Sam: You snore at night. That really bugs me. Can I take you out?

Sam: What's wrong with your back? Do you have to have surgery on it or what? Because those pills you are taking are for a lot of pain. And you seem to be going though them pretty quick, that's all.
George: You're not still taking any, are you?
Sam: No. But I count them. In a sock isn't exactly new, you know.
George: I'm having a problem with cancer.
Sam: I don't know what that means. What kind of problem?
George: The kind where there isn't any answer.
Sam: I still don't know what it means.
George: Sam I wanted us to... You know, spend a few months together. Here. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Something bad to force something good.
Sam: So you're dying. And you told mom today. Fuck you, ok fuck you. You knew you were dying from the start?
George: We're all dying from the start. I just got pushed to the head of the line.
Sam: But you lied to me.
George: I would've lied to myself if I thought I'd believe it.
Sam: So this whole thing... this whole summer, having me here, was for your sake. You selfish fuck. Having me here trying to get me to like you.
George: No, Sam I wasn't trying to get you to like me. I was trying to get you to love me.
Sam: Well, congratulations... Because you fucking pulled it off.

Sam: I've been using since I was 12! You're also unbelievably stupid, you know that? You didn't give a shit about anything I did up until now!
George: Well, I'll apologize for everything but today! Today I give a shit!

Sam: I took some of your Vicatin.
George: I know. Why?
Sam: I like how it feels to not feel.
George: I know the feeling.
Sam: How do you become something that you're not?
George: What would you like to be?
Sam: What I'm not.
George: What are you now?
Sam: I'm nothing.
George: That's not true.
Sam: You see, that's the thing though is that I am what I say I am.
George: I gave up on you.
Sam: No, no if you'd given up on me I'd be in Tahoe right now.
George: And what would you be doing there right now?
Sam: Getting high, I guess.
George: If I asked you to stop, would you?
Sam: I haven't used anything in two days. I'm trying.
George: I'm proud of you.
Sam: Yeah, well don't be. And hide that new Daily...whatever that new drug is you have. I like it.
George: I held I gun up to my father’s head once. You ever think like that? He had just been yelling at my mom over, nothing, undercooked meat. I went to my room, I held the barrel right up to his ear, and then I chickened out again. Of course it was a bb gun but it still would’ve hurt like hell.
Sam: (takes of headphones) Are you talking?
George: I was just thinking about my mom. She wouldn't leave my dad. I remember one time she made dinner for us wearing sunglasses. Remind you it was dark outside, and in. And nobody said a thing about it.
Sam: Why wouldn't she just leave?
George: I think she was terrified to live with him but maybe even more terrified of life without him.
Sam: I would've killed him.
George: It would have been so much better if you had. Maybe then he wouldn’t have driven drunk, killed my mom in a car crash, other women in the car. Hurt a little girl in the back seat too. You would’ve liked your grandma, she was pretty cool. I still think about that little girl, they couldn’t find her father and her mother was dead.
Sam: Do you ever wish you'd have done it?
George: What, killed my dad?
Sam: (Nods)
George: I loved him too much.
Sam: That's weird.
George: Yeah, I guess it is.
Robin: You sure this is what you wanna do?
Sam: Yes. This is what he wanted.
Robin: I read the letter, you read the will. He wanted you to keep it and live in it someday.
Sam: Alright, maybe it's not what he wanted but it's what he was hoping for. Maybe it's what I want.


  • Seen from a distance, it's perfect.


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