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Defending Your Life

Defending Your Life
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Defending Your Life

1991 / 112min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: ALBERT BROOKS

CAST: ALBERT BROOKS, MERYL STREEP, RIP TORN

Perhaps Brooks’s most conceptually ambitious comedy, Defending Your Life begins hilariously enough with the death of its protagonist, a self-absorbed yuppie played by the director. Arriving in an afterlife metropolis where the deceased go on trial to see if they’ve learned enough to stay on in paradise or are due for another lesson via reincarnation, our hero has to cringingly revisit his ignoble existence, the outcome of his review becoming suddenly desperate when he falls for Meryl Streep, a fellow casualty who’s lived a far more exemplary life—meaning that defense lawyer Rip Torn has his work cut out for him if our hero is to get the girl.

Screening in the series Albert Brooks.