She is on a first-name basis with her lawyer and gets invited to a dinner party he throws. It's also very re-watchable thanks to its ability to get huge laughs, while at the same time possessing the skill to know when to become serious when time calls for it. Since many of them obviously deserve to go to the other place, if only for owning cars with burglar alarms that go off in the middle of the night, a movie like "Defending Your Life" makes perfect sense. But nobody in Judgment City will give him a straight answer to a question like that. Welcome to Judgment City: A Look Back at Defending Your Life, The West Wing Returns for an HBO Max Special, Touring Masterworks: Adam Nayman Discusses His New Book on Paul Thomas Anderson. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. All Critics (32) Julia seems to have what it takes to move to the ‘next stage’ of existence, but Daniel’s worried he’ll be sent back – and lose the one person he loves so much. They get along immediately and enjoy each other very much. But isn't our modern world ready for images in which the angels look like Rotarians and CEOs? Just confirm how you got your ticket. Now that I've been to the Past Lives Pavilion that could be 20 to 30,000 people.”. The ending is a strange one but fitting in a weird way. Brooks has stated that he doesn’t believe in an image of God that’s a thing or a person. While there, one must prove in a courtroom-style process that he successfully overcame his fears. | Rating: A-, March 11, 2005 Don't have an account? Search for "Defending Your Life" on, Title: I don't care for Meryl Streep usually but she is perfectly cast here. Written by All of this is played for laughs but really, Brooks is talking about how we chase and also run from wealth because we live in fear of not knowing what to do with it when we get it. that night. It wasn’t until this weekend, really, when we popped in one of my favorite movies of all time, “Defending Your Life” with Albert Brooks, that I realized that this movie–a movie about life after death–may in fact be my favorite food movie of all time, even though it’s not a movie about food. Find out where Defending Your Life is streaming, if Defending Your Life is on Netflix, and get news and updates, on Decider. 770 The City Drive, Orange, California, USA. Daniel is on his way to Hong Kong (this is a scene from his life, obviously) and finds he has seat 'B', meaning he's between two people. The best thing about the movie, I think, is the notion of Judgment City itself. Weaving in and out of traffic, listening to Barbra Streisand singing the prophetic “Something’s Coming” from “West Side Story,” he allows himself to become distracted, collides into a bus and dies—the ultimate reward/punishment for an American Jew, death by Streisand. | Rating: 3/5, August 18, 2005 He stars, writes, directs, and probably cleans up in this one. But he knows there’s no guarantees. Looking to watch Defending Your Life? Meryl Streep, Ethan Embry, Shirley MacLaine, Albert Brooks. Stanley Kubrick's "2001" ended with the astronaut leaving the solar system and finding himself, quite unexpectedly, in a spotless hotel room. In an afterlife way station resembling a block of hotels, the lives of the recently-deceased are examined in a court-like setting. I'm not a fan of Meryl Streep, but she is angel bright as the fearless Julia. By 1991, over 100,000 Americans had died of AIDS, instilling fear into Daniel’s heart. Rated: Runtime: 1 hr. For starters, he died after he got hit by a bus. Its a little disrespectful of the character but Brooks never minds portraying himself as vulnerable and human. But Daniel comes to find out that the life he was living, successful as it may have looked on paper, wasn’t spiritually or emotionally evolved enough to achieve anything close to nirvana. Defending Your Life is one of the best movies of all time. Daniel is put to the final test on the evening before he and Julia learn their fates. They are pleasantly amusing, memorable and thoughtful. Doesn't it make sense that heaven, for each society, would be a place much like the Earth that it knows? We know life happens, so if something comes up, you can return or exchange your tickets up until the posted showtime. Jewish comedians (and Jewish people in general) don’t hold a patent on guilt and shame around sex, food, and money; they’re used as examples to show all the ways that we deny ourselves pleasure in the name of being good and how we allow ourselves to believe that all of the above should come with a happiness guarantee.