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Defending Your Life

Director: Albert Brooks
Producer: Michael Grillo
Screenwriter: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Rip Torn, Meryl Streep
MPAA Rating: PG
Year of Release: 1991
Released on Video: 01/01/92

Daniel is a yuppie who died in a car accident and is awaiting the determination of his fate in Judgment City, a sort-of waiting room resort for the afterlife. While having the most minute details of his life examined court-room style to see whether he overcame his fears and made the most of his life, he falls in love with the only other young person in the city, Julie. While she looks certain to move on up to “Citizen of the Universe” status, Daniel’s apparently pitiful life appears to spell another trip back to life on earth for him.

Viewing Suggestion:

Watch Daniel after a life time of giving in to his fears, at the end of the film facing his fear and pursuing what he really wants, his new-found love Julie.

Ask Yourself:


- Can you remember one situation in your life when you faced a fear you had and pursued something you were afraid of anyway?
- Are you willing to try this again, starting with something small and manageable.
- Can you see Daniel as a model during the last part of the movie and can you find the strength, courage, and determination inside yourself to “feel your fear and do it anyway”?