Life As A House

Here's an early peek at Hayden Christensen, 20, the actor who plays Anakin Skywalker (the eventual Darth Vader) in next year's Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. As Sam, the spoiled teen son of divorced parents (Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas), Christensen makes quite a star entrance. After tying a noose around his neck for a better sexual kick when he jerks off, Sam earns drug money by driving to dark places and charging men to blow him. Talk about riding in cars with boys.

Don't be put off. This is a star-making performance that brings nuance and feeling to a character written without either. Sadly, Christensen is the only jolt of excitement in this turgid soap opera, directed by Irwin Winkler (At First Sight) and starring smart actors who should know better. Kline plays George Monroe, an architect who learns he is dying (a plot device that always finds me looking longingly for the exit). Instead of moping, George decides to rebuild his shabby home and — get this — his life. Father and son bond, and old wounds are healed. Darth Vader would puke.

From The Archives Issue 882: November 22, 2001
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