7.1/10
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22 user 14 critic

Real Life (1979)

A film crew sets out to record a year in the life of an average family, but things quickly start going wrong.

Director:

Albert Brooks

Writers:

Monica Mcgowan Johnson (as Monica Johnson), Harry Shearer | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Haynes ... Councilman Edmund Harris
Albert Brooks ... Albert Brooks
Matthew Tobin Matthew Tobin ... Dr. Howard Hill
J.A. Preston ... Dr. Ted Cleary
Mort Lindsey Mort Lindsey ... Mort Lindsey
Joseph Schaffler Joseph Schaffler ... Paul Lowell - Realtor
Phyllis Quinn Phyllis Quinn ... Donna Stanley - Gift Shop Owner
James Ritz James Ritz ... Jack from Cincinnati
Clifford Einstein Clifford Einstein ... Role Reversal Family Father
Harold Einstein Harold Einstein ... Role Reversal Family Son
Mandy Einstein Mandy Einstein ... Role Reversal Family Mother
Karen Einstein Karen Einstein ... Role Reversal Family Daughter
James L. Brooks ... Driving Evaluator
Zeke Manners Zeke Manners ... Driver in Evaluation
Charles Grodin ... Warren Yeager DVM
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Storyline

A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, instead of remaining unobtrusive and letting the family be themselves, he can't keep himself from trying to control every facet of their lives "for the good of the show". Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida Como Ela É See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles H. Reid, who plays the assistant surgeon, was a real veterinarian who provided the horse that appears in the film. See more »

Quotes

Martin Brand: [after one of Albert's rants] Albert, what the hell are you talking about? Look, let's not argue - say the family's fine, say the family's perfect. Let's talk about YOU for a minute. Look what YOU'VE done. You FAILED - that's what you did, you shmuck, you failed. You started out with this artsy-craftsy reality crap and what did you end up with? The NEWS, the goddamned NEWS! People get that for free! You think somebody's gonna hire a babysitter, take a taxicab, go all the way the hell downtown, ...
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Crazy Credits

The end credits finishes with a barcode for Alka-Seltzer See more »


Soundtracks

Jump Into The Fire
Written by Harry Nilsson
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User Reviews

Albert Brooks is the ultimate farceur.
4 September 1999 | by lensecapSee all my reviews

'Real life' is the perfect send-up of the worst scenario possible for a film maker shooting a documentary, i.e., what happens when your subject matter loses interest in the project before completion? Albert Brooks, as the seemingly besieged director of this 'loaf of reality' year long vigil with a typical American family, walks a fine line between egomania and neuroticism and scores with broad belly laughs both ways. Charles Grodin as the head of the suburban clan from which this film within a film emanates exudes his special brand of bland exuberance at the beginning of this captive camera stakeout inside his home(and everywhere else he may go) provided his life is depicted as letter perfect from day to day. When such is not the case and the obtrusive lenses are interfering with his job as a veterinarian, (in a sequence that has to be seen rather than described) then Grodin regards the camera presence as nothing more than an albatross and mentally switches himself off. Albert Brooks, meanwhile, never says quit. Every so-called hair in the eye of the lense is still a perfect scene regardless of the participation or lack of it, thereof, from his celluloid family. For Brooks regards this film as 'paramount'(oops) over the desires of his cast of characters. Brooks facile mind works methodically from beginning to end. From his perspective, nothing can go wrong, everything is in its place with a place for everything. So when his documentary and the human equation around it blow up in his face , his conferences with colleagues are hilarious as he tries various remedies to salvage not only his project but his self-image. Brooks is a comic delight as a man who cannot take criticism regarding his methods and his interaction with project staff are decidedly one-sided, but in the capable hands of this farceur, his myopic viewpoint is always good for guffaws galore. Real life should be this funny.


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