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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> May 2002 >> Defending Your Life

Defending Your Life

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
May 2002
IMDB Name:
Defending Your Life (1991)
Albert Brooks
comedy, romance
MPAA Rating:

Inspired Premise

Most romantic comedies start out well enough. Some even start out with a great premise and then fail to deliver an ending consistent with the setup. Defending Your Life is a delightful exception that creates an interesting romance between two interesting people in an interesting setting. The difference with this film is the nifty milieu of an afterlife court system that decides who moves on to the next stage of existence and who goes back to Earth for another try. The richly-detailed environment is packed with funny tidbits, and the rigidly-scheduled judging imposes a deadline on any potential romances. Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep are both funny as they embark on this novel relationship. Rip Torn is quite funny as an afterlife lawyer-type. His condescension towards Brooks makes every line out of his mouth funny, even if it wouldn't do much on paper. Buck Henry also does a nice job with a very minimal performance.

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Copyright 2002-2003 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.