Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Defending Your Life”

Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks in "Defending Your Life" (Warner Bros./Geffen Pictures, 1991)

Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks in “Defending Your Life” (Warner Bros./Geffen Pictures, 1991)

It was a blast re-watching “Defending Your Life” (Warner Bros./Geffen Pictures, 1991) after not seeing this film for many years. The movie has a very interesting premise about what happens after you die–all human spirits end up in a place called Judgement City where it’s determined in a courtroom-type setting if each person was courageous enough to conquer their fears or not. In the courtroom, each person must watch movies of episodes of their own life and where they go next is determined by how they dealt with their fears while on earth. Albert Brooks plays Daniel Miller, an overall nice guy who is having a difficult time in his courtroom defending that he was actually courageous in life. In Judgement City, Daniel meets and falls in love with Julia, played by Meryl Streep, who is having a very different experience in her courtroom (she actually was a brave person). While this film is a great romantic comedy, the themes of overcoming your fears and going for something you love make it something more. Also stars Rip Torn and Lee Grant. Written and directed by Albert Brooks. “Actually, there is no Hell. Although I hear Los Angeles is getting pretty close.”

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