Monthly Archives: March 2016

‘Defending Your Life’ at 25: Albert Brooks on Making a Comedy Classic


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By Jennifer Wood

The funniest man alive on his heavenly film’s 25th anniversary: “I got a letter from a parent who said their kid memorized the whole movie”


If heaven exists, what would it look like?

It’s one of life’s big questions, and if you believe what you see in the movies, it’s a place full of white fluffy clouds and friendly angels pining for their life back on our Big Blue Marble. But that’s not how Albert Brooks sees it.

Twenty-five years ago — and less than a year after Ghost stormed the box office — Brooks wrote, directed, and starred in Defending Your Life, the story of an ad man who buys himself a Bimmer for his 40th birthday, then promptly drives it into a bus. The bulk of the movie happens in a place called Judgment City, a pleasant enough pit stop for the dearly departed that operates a lot like a Fortune 500 company. Continue reading