At 45, architect George Monroe (Kevin Kline) has lost sight of his dreams. Living in an inherited shack he had planned on rebuilding years ago, he sits high atop the Southern California coast without stopping to enjoy the view. Unfulfilled and miserable at his job, he works tirelessly while losing his grip on his happiness and his estranged family: ex-wife Robin (Kristen Scott Thomas) and maladjusted son Sam (Hayden Christensen). But, in one day, the course of George's life changes forever. He is fired from his job and diagnosed with a terminal illness. Given only four months to live, George vows to accomplish his lifelong dream of building his dream house. He recruits his son's begrudging help for the summer. Over the course of the next few months, George attempts to mend his long-suffering relationship with the brooding and intense 16-year-old as they tear down the ramshackle shack and rebuild a monument to his dreams. While they work, the neighborhood watches in awe. The much maligned eyesore is transformed. Mary Steenburgen costars as next-door neighbor Colleen who engages in some free-spirited activities of her own while her daughter Alyssa (Jena Malone) helps to brighten Sam's summer. Finally, it is Robin who begins to see a change in George and feels herself drawn back into the life of her longtime ex. Together Robin and Sam help George fulfill his goal as he rebuilds his house (and his life) before it is too late. Kline delivers a fine-tuned performance that embodies an impressive range of emotion fueled by the witty and ultimately moving script from AS GOOD AS IT GETS screenwriter Mark Andrus.
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