Defending Your Life
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superb music score won an Academy Award.s life, you must go back to Earth and try again. But Daniel doesn't want to go back after he meets Julia in this heavenly fable written and directed by Albert Brooks.
Top Customer Reviews
Albert Brooks is a very smart writer. He wouldn't create your typical Hollywood love story and send it through the recycling machine. His approach to love in this film is totally random, somewhat sporadic, but yet honestly real. There is a mystery between he and Meryl Streep's relationship. That is what I loved so much about them. Typically in films of this nature you have this elaborate story of how two people meet, they fall in love, they fight, and suddenly discover that their passion is stronger than ever before (normally due to some unforeseen ...Read more ›
In a temporary afterlife, where an elite group of brains (led hysterically by Rip Torn and Buck Henry) decide your fate.
If you conquered your fears during your life on Earth, you get promoted in your next life to a better world. If you didn't -- then it's back to that horrible little Earth for you.
Streep, perfection in white, will be moving on up. Brooks, who manages to look uneasy and neurotic while wearing heavenly robes, almost certainly seems doomed to another round on the third planet.
Yet Streep and Brooks seem somehow made for each other. Can he beat the system and keep his new love? Or will separate reincarnations on different worlds keep them apart forever?
"Defending Your Life" is a delightfully heretical comedy, with a gentle touch of blasphemy and many honest laughs. It's Albert Brooks' best movie since "Broadcast News," and he hasn't done anything as good since.
A wonderful date movie -- just make sure you both have some Kleenex.
Writer, director and star Albert Brooks plays Daniel Miller - an advertising executive who finds himself driving headlong into a bus on his birthday. Waking up dead in the perpetually sunny and 74-degree Judgment City, Daniel discovers that he must "defend" the life he lived on Earth - a process which consists of reviewing selected days from his life to determine the extent to which he overcame fear and lived genuinely as a result. If he is found by the two judge panel to have sufficiently conquered fear, he is allowed to pass on to a higher plane, if not he will return to Earth to try again. He is assigned a Defender (played with amiable bluster by Rip Torn) and must argue against a steely Prosecutor (Lee Grant). During the course of his stay in Judgment City, Daniel meets and falls in love with Julia (the lovely Meryl Streep), another recently deceased arrival. Without revealing too much more, it is sufficient to say that the love Daniel develops for Julia is crucial to the outcome of his "trial".
This movie was a delight to watch! The humor ranges from wry observation about the human condition to pop culture sight gags such as Shirley Maclaine hosting the Past Lives Pavilion (a Judgment City attraction in which visitors can glimpse their past life incarnations). The philosophy of the film, the idea that fear is a crucial element to be worked through while we are here, resonated deeply with me. It is fear in one form or another, after all, which prevents us from leading genuine lives - the fear of death or the fear of defying Societal Will ("the Dragon of Thou Shalt", to quote Joseph Campbell) and being truly ourselves, for example.
"Defending Your Life" is the perfect antidote to the flood of moronic comedies that have been so popular of late, a movie that will make you laugh and, perhaps, think.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Funny and thought-provoking. Top ten favorite movies of mine.Published 3 days ago by Richard Shelton
OMG! If you even like Albert Brooks a little than you'll love this hilarious take on "Heaven" and the afterlife in general. Meryl Streep makes it that much better! Read morePublished 3 days ago by Melissa Davis
Mildly entertaining with an earnest performance by Albert Brooks and an enthusiastic one by the great Meryl Streep, this is a fun movie about the literal trial of a man after his... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Jersey Devil
“Defending Your Life” was a cute idea for a movie: Daniel Miller (played by Albert Brooks) dies, and goes to Judgement City, where they will evaluate his life and decide if he’s... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Adam Pruzan
Kelly Ripa recommended this movie. Granted, it's older, but it's awful. The humor is practically nonexistent. The portrayal of heaven is pure fantasy (if you know your Bible). Read morePublished 24 days ago by Linda
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