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Defending Your Life

Defending Your Life
Defending Your Life
Defending Your Life
  • PG
  • 1h 51m
  • 1991
Common Sense Media Iconage 13+
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Albert Brooks wrote, directed and stars with Academy Award winner Meryl Streep in this delightfully offbeat romantic comedy that shows it's never too late to change your life--even if you're already dead. When advertising executive Daniel Miller (Brooks) dies suddenly in a car accident, he's transported to Judgment City and faces a tribunal to decide whether he will go to a better place or return to earth for another incarnation. It doesn't look good for Miller, but unexpectedly and for the first time in his life--or his past lives--Miller discovers love.
© 1991 Geffen Film Company. All Rights Reserved.<CR>

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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 13+
Common Sense Says
Priceless comedy with a message-rich heart, mild swearing.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Defending Your Life is a comedy-romance set in Judgment City, a short-term way station for the recently deceased. During each subject's stopover visit, he or she will be vetted and judged to determine whether or not they will "move forward" or be sent back to Earth to try again. It's all a matter of how "well" each person lived his or her most recent life. It's not a religious movie and has no religious content, but it is a fantasy about an afterlife. A few scenes include conflict or action (spoiler alert): Our hero dies in a car-bus accident (off camera), a very young child watches his parents argue bitterly, a school bully intimidates and fights, there's a snowboard accident, and there's a daring rescue during a home fire. There are a few sexual references (an all-nude strip club, adult books) and some mild innuendo and jokes ("I had sex with Ben Franklin"), and a couple discusses staying overnight together. Profanity includes "horses--t" and "balls." Expect social drinking in a few scenes, a reference to "getting stoned" in the past, and one mention of heroin. Because the comedy is based on real human experience, it's as relevant today as it was when it was made in 1991. Messages are life-affirming and strong and delivered with humor and insight. Best for teens and great for families with older kids to watch together.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Additional Info

  • Genre:Comedy, Fantasy
  • Release Date:March 22, 1991
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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