Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. From time to time, a reflection on the movie will appear below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Defending Your Life” (1991):
Have No Fear, Albert Brooks Is Here
Albert Brooks is dead. When Albert Brooks is dead, he whines about it. “Cheer up,” Meryl Streep encourages. “It could be worse.”
Of course, it could be worse. Albert could be you-know-where.
The two of them, Albert and Meryl, are at a way station between the Living and the Great Beyond, and they are being evaluated. Meryl Streep’s evaluation is Awesome Plus. Of course, it is. It’s Meryl Streep and she already had two Oscars to prove it. And a bunch of nominations as well. Seems she could do nothing wrong in her life on earth.
Albert Brooks? Not so much. He only had one Oscar nomination. That was for “Broadcast News”. As usual, he plays a schmuck. In “Defending Your Life”, he can’t do anything right. He lives in fear of his shadow. And it is a mild and meek shadow at that. For instance, on the best day of his life, he rewards himself with a new car. Not just any car. A BMW convertible. You guessed it. A car crash, and he doesn’t just hit another car. He has to hit a bus. He dies.
Well, he wakes up in this place and he’s wearing a white dress. It’s not that he’s the only guy wearing a dress. Pretty much everybody, who stops in on the way up or down, is wearing a dress. Rip Torn and Buck Henry aren’t wearing dresses. They work in the way station. In other words, they are way station employees.
Unlike most way stations, Albert and Meryl are not weighed for their weight. Here they are lighter than air. On top of that, they can eat all the lasagna they want and not gain weight. No, they are weighed on fear. Was there ever an event in their lives where they were fearless? Meryl is fearless as all get out. Albert wears fear like it’s a suit of armor.
And it’s that suit of armor that is going to keep him going back again and again. Or is it?