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Defending Your Life (1991)

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In an afterlife way station resembling a block of hotels, the lives of the recently-deceased are examined in a court-like setting.

Director:

Albert Brooks

Writer:

Albert Brooks
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Brooks ... Daniel Miller
Michael Durrell ... Agency Head
James Eckhouse ... Jeep Owner
Gary Beach ... Car Salesman
Julie Cobb ... Tram Guide
Peter Schuck Peter Schuck ... Stan
Time Winters ... Porter
Rip Torn ... Bob Diamond
Sharlie Stuart Sharlie Stuart ... Susan
Beth Black Beth Black ... Soap Opera Woman
Clayton Norcross ... Soap Opera Man
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Game Show Moderator
Wil Albert Wil Albert ... Game Show Contestant
Sage Allen Sage Allen ... Game Show Contestant
Mary Pat Gleason ... Waitress
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Storyline

Yuppie Daniel Miller is killed in a car accident and goes to Judgment City, a waiting room for the afterlife. During the day, he must prove in a courtroom-style process that he successfully overcame his fears (a hard task, given the pitiful life we are shown); at night, he falls in love with Julia, the only other young person in town. Nights are a time of hedonistic pleasure, since you can (for instance) eat all you want without getting fat. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The first true story of what happens after you die.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

5 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Visa al paraíso See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$16,371,128
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Geffen Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Defending Your Life was released around six months after Postcards from the Edge, a film-a-clef loosely based on the real-life experiences of mother and daughter Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Both stars had been close to Albert Brooks since his high school days, and remained so through the production of Postcards. Fisher scripted that movie, and it co-starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Brooks himself then tapped Streep and MacLaine for Defending Your Life, his next project. Reynolds teamed up with Brooks five years later; she had a critically-acclaimed starring role in his comedy Mother (1996). See more »

Goofs

In the Italian restaurant, the waiter pours cheese on Daniel's broccoli. However, in the next scene there is no cheese on the broccoli. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daniel Miller: I was driving to work this morning thinking I will be here, in 2 months, it'll be 10 years. And you're like my real family. Isn't that tragic.
[laughter]
Daniel Miller: I got a call from my mother this morning, she wished me a happy birthday, and hinted around the fact that I wasn't making enough money. If you can call "are ya still making the same salary, honey" a hint. And my ex-wife used to say the same thing, although she never used the name "honey".
[laughter]
Daniel Miller: So, maybe in three years I can ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'The Larry Sanders Show' (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Misty
Written by Erroll Garner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic romantic comedy with a message to boot
9 March 2000 | by vizliSee all my reviews

I just recently saw this movie again on the tube and I was reminded why its one of my favourites. Not only is Brooks at his comedic best but Meryl Streep blended seamlessly into this movie.

I was surprised that most of the comments about this movie were focused only on the afterlife and not the more obvious premise of the movie - how we deal with fear. While it is virtually impossible to take a Albert Brooks movie to heart, this one proves to be a clear exception. There is actually a profound message in this movie - your life is significantly shaped by the way you deal with fear.

I challenge anyone who hasn't yet seen this movie to watch it and failed to be entertained. You won't be sorry.


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