In his senior year at a Manhattan prep school, George (Highmore) can't muster up the energy to do his schoolwork. A bright kid with serious artistic talent, he's in trouble with the principal (Underwood) for failing his classes. He's also uninterested in communicating with his mother (Wilson) or stepdad (Robards). The class' hot bad girl Sally (Roberts) takes an interest in him, but he can't do much more than follow her around, even when his mentor painter (Angarano) urges him to make a move.
Continue reading: The Art Of Getting By Review
George is a senior at a private high school in New York. He has never done a day's work in his life and sees no point in trying to do anything because sooner or later he will die. When he should be working on assignments for school, he watches TV, listens to music or does anything that isn't what he should be doing. Despite never taking Art classes seriously, George shows talent at drawing and it's his favourite subject, but his untapped talent isn't enough to save him from the principal who puts him on academic probation due to constant slacking.
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After she catches her husband cheating, 40-year-old Sandy (Zeta-Jones) takes her two kids (Gould and Cherry) and moves into Manhattan. She finds an entry-level job and a flat above a coffee shop, where recently divorced 25-year-old barista Aram (Bartha) is happy to watch the kids. Meanwhile, Sandy's pal Daphne (Grant) urges her to get back out on the dating scene, but after a few disastrous nights the babysitter starts to look like a possibility.
But can they overcome their age difference and recover from their bad past relationships?
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At least he's got the comely Jenna Elfman on his side in this true crime drama, which thank God is not nearly as horrible as you might be expecting. The pitch: He (Charles Powell) is a fancy pants doctor and says she's been stalking him mercilessly. She (Elfman) says they had a long-term relationship and she just got a little upset there at the end.
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Sasha (Sam Robards) has arrived here to address a conference on the structure of the universe -- his life-long obsession. The occasion reunites him with his testy old mentor, Professor Gross (F. Murray Abraham), and with Natasha (Oksana Stashenko), a former colleague and ex-lover who stirs up suspicions that Sasha may have fathered her teenage daughter before he left the country in the mid-'70s. The situation further compounds Sasha's midlife crisis: His marriage to Helen (Ally Sheedy), an American physicist, has fallen apart, and he's in the midst of a dead-end affair with another American, Jill (Jicky Schnee), a filmmaker accompanying him so she can gather newly declassified footage about the country's pollution crisis for her own environmental documentary.
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She's a cute tomboy named Maddy (Kristen Stewart, Panic Room), a determined mountain climber-in-training who idolizes her dad (Sam Robards) and helps her overworked mom (Jennifer Beals). She's got two pint-sized buddies: Gus (Max Thieriot), a mini-Mr. Fix-It who loves go-karts and really digs Maddy, and Austin (Corbin Bleu), a crack technology whiz who also really digs Maddy.
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American Beauty chronicles the last year in the life of 42 year-old hack magazine writer Lester Burnham (Spacey), a suburban loser that has just about had it with his humdrum life and decides to make a few changes to regain control, for better or for worse. Those changes include quitting his job and blackmailing his employers, buying a vintage Firebird, taking a new job at the local fast food joint, buying thousands of dollars worth of pot, and plotting to sleep with his daughter's best friend (Suvari, the good girl from American Pie, playing the bad girl here).
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But much of Life as a House is completely watchable. Mark Andrus's script (he's written As Good As It Gets and the underrated, rarely seen Late For Dinner) appears cookie-cutter: he gives us the lazy, lonely, eccentric nobody (Kevin Kline); his estranged family, including beautiful ex-wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and alienated teen (Hayden Christensen); and his predictably uptight neighbors, pissed off that his ramshackle of a house has stood in their beautiful oceanside neighborhood for twenty years.
Continue reading: Life As A House Review
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