Monday, September 17, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 18


'The Glass House' shatters from weak script

The Glass House
Starring Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane
Rated PG-13
** 1/2 (out of five stars)
Columbia Pictures

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daly Cougar Staff

The Glass House seems to have everything that would make for an excellent psychological thriller.

But the film weakens with a lack of suspense and ineffective storytelling and dwindles into nothing more than an average thriller.

Ruby (Leelee Sobieski) and her younger brother Rhett (Travis Morgan) find themselves in the hands of Erin (Diane Lane) and Terry Glass
(Stellan Skarsgard) after their parents, Dave (Michael O'Keefe) and Grace Baker (Rita Wilson), die in a car accident.

With a good deal of history between the couples, Ruby and Rhett have no doubt that their parents would have wanted Erin and Terry to
become their guardians.

Soon after Ruby settles into their scenic Malibu home, she realizes that the Glasses aren't who they seem to be.

Terry begins to eye the attractive teen, Erin gets careless with her drug habit and Ruby doesn't know who is trying to control her and Rhett's
$4 million inheritance.

Veteran television director Daniel Sackheim, in his feature film debut, and writer Wesley Strick (Return To Paradise) set up this promising
premise with a blend of shady characters and sketchy dialogue.

The Glass House fails when we lose interest in the dark characters -- audiences don't have much to figure out as these characters' moves
become less and less surprising -- and the vague script amounts to nothing but a transparent story.

At first, the filmmaking seems as if it's making its rounds by detailing certain scenes and leaving blanks regarding some characters.

But if audiences pay attention for the first 15 minutes, they'll spend the remainder of the film trying to figure out if each Sour Patch Kid has its
own flavor based on color or if they're all just sour.

In other words, just don't put two-and-two together too soon and The Glass House will pass for the average thriller.

The only mentionable aspects of this film are the performances by veteran actor Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting) and young talent Leelee
Sobieski (Eyes Wide Shut).

Skarsgard masters the role of the menacing guardian, Terry Glass, and accommodates Sobieski's confused, emotional character, Ruby.

The Glass House would have been a straight-to-video project at its best without these convincing acts leading the film.

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