If the afterlife is really like this, I'd imagine most of us would be fairly screwed. Defending Your Life is an entertaining and creative film that explains the afterlife in a believable way. It's a smartly written comedy that uses death to explain life. According to the world of Defending Your Life, we all live many different lifetimes on Earth depending on how courageous we are. When we die, we are sent to a place called Judgment City, which is where we are judged by a small court to determine if we've let go of our fear. If not, we're sent back to Earth to try again. But if we are, then we pass on to the next step in human existence, which is glossed over but never fully explained in this film.
The film is the brainchild of comedian Albert Brooks, who uses his witty, intelligent brand of comedy to provide audiences with a detailed look at the afterlife that completely cuts out religion of any kind. Frankly, it's kind of amazing that he managed to do that. His chemistry with co-star Meryl Streep is terrific, with their love story being a fun one to see grow in the short time they have in Judgment City. Though, honestly, it's Rip Torn who steals the show as Daniel Miller's (Brooks) lawyer Bob Diamond. His constant jabs at Daniel make for great comedic moments, especially during the trial scenes.
I enjoyed Defending Your Life and consider it one of the best films to explain away death. Brooks uses humor to tell what could have been a controversial film. I enjoy films that stand out among a sea of copycats, which a great many comedies are. This film is its own animal, showing the consequences of our bad life decisions, even the smallest ones. This film is very heartwarming and works as both a solid comedy and a great love story. More people should see it, as I think everyone could take something away from it.