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Real Life

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A documentary filmmaker and his crew move in with a typical American family. Directed by Brooks.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Albert Brooks, Barbara DeZonia, Dudley DeZonia, Clifford Einstein, Harry Einstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000055Z4H
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,912 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Real Life" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 15, 2001
Format: DVD
Writer-director-comic actor Albert Brooks has done consistently solid work since this film but it remains his very best. It is a parody, astonishingly enough, of TODAY'S work on tv yet he made this film in 1979! Tv today is parlaying extensive money out of real life situations, whether based on survival or marrying millionaires or some other new trend of the day. These are big reasons why I don't watch tv anymore. If you are unfamiliar with Brooks, who also plays the "auteur" director in the film, you must understand two things about him. One, he always plays obnoxious characters and this is perhaps his most obnoxious ever. Two, he is absolutely merciless on portraying himself as obnoxious. His delivery is straight on and deadpan and totally works. Brooks's character does not have an iota of real self awareness and this too is typical of the roles he creates for himself in all of his films.

This is Brooks's satiric look at a documentary purportedly capturing a year in the life of a typical American family. Charles Grodin, low key as usual, is fantastic as Warren Yeager, the Phoenix, Arizona, veterinarian who is largely passive and ineffectual. He, his wife and two children are easily overwhelmed by the callous Brooks as auteur. There are so many delights to this film that it is hard to name them all so here are just a few.
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Format: VHS Tape
As a (comparative) young'n, I first experienced Albert Brooks through his movie Defending Your Life, which I adored for years (still do). I checked out each movie after that ("Mother" and "The Muse") with equal glee. Having finally checked out his previous films, I was amazed to find that "Real Life" and especially "Modern Romance" are rather different beasts from the inventive but largely harmless later works. Brooks in his prime is not just a brilliant satirist, but a master of the goulishly uncomfortable situation!
Observe the palpable fear given off by Charles Grodin as he tries to dissuade Brooks from showing the footage of him losing one of his patients (he's a veterinarian, so he loses a horse. Big animals are funnier than little ones.) on the table due to his error. Or check out the "put your couch pillow over your face and scream silently" scene in "Modern Romance" where Albert calls a random woman in his roladex, having just broken up with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Of course, the uncomfortable nature of the scene is intensified by the fact that Albert has just taken two quaaludes before making the call. Watch him confess his love to a woman who he later admits, "I'm not QUITE sure who she is or where I know her from." Wow! A long way from the clever but unassuming takes on the afterlife and the misadventures of a greek muse in the 20th century. The closest he's come in recent films is "Mother," which I had the mis/fortune of seeing with my own mother! What a relief that my own laughs of recognition were covered up by hers, as she related all of the matronly satire to her own mom!
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Format: DVD
This film was a satire on a (mostly forgotten) documentary about the Loud family, in which they followed the family through every facet of their lives. Brooks takes that idea and runs with it to the extreme degree. To a degree that it goes past ridiculous, never losing site of funny, mind you, and ends up in prophetic.
Everything he says in this film rings true for todays reality TV craze. If you were told this was made this year, you'd believe it.
This is very likely Albert (Einstein; no really, look it up) Brooks' best film, as a writer, actor, or anything. It is wholly his vision and style of comedy. The film is played dead straight, from the talk about the laborious selection process, to the technical details about the special cameras worn over the cameraman's head, giving them an eerie Big-Brother look. ("Only five were made, only three worked...we have two of those.")
He tracks this family for a year, slowly but surely making their lives an emotional hell, just by being there to watch it. The act of observing an experiment changes the parameters of the experiment, or so the scientific tenet goes. This whole film is an analysis of that theory, as seen through google-eyed glasses.
The Truman Show and EdTV beat Television to the punch by about six months, making a film that was just a hair more ridiculous than what TV was doing. The recently released film Series 7-The Contenders tries to parody the genre as it exists now, and does it well. Brooks did this film TWENTY TWO YEARS AGO. Just let that bounce around your head. Then realize that you have very likely never seen the best satire of today's television ever.
Vinnie, wearing a clown suit and holding a gas can.
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