Real Life

Real Life

4.0 1

Cast: Albert Brooks, Charles Grodin, Frances Lee McCain, J.A. Preston

     
 

Lost in America may have been Albert Brooks' most popular film but many of his fans consider this 1979 feature debut to be his funniest picture. Long out of print on video, the Paramount DVD of Real Life makes plain that this biting satire is even more timely now that reality TV has moved beyond Candid Camera and the PBS American FamilySee more details below

Overview

Lost in America may have been Albert Brooks' most popular film but many of his fans consider this 1979 feature debut to be his funniest picture. Long out of print on video, the Paramount DVD of Real Life makes plain that this biting satire is even more timely now that reality TV has moved beyond Candid Camera and the PBS American Family documentary that originally inspired Brooks to make the movie. Unfortunately, this DVD doesn't come with any extras such as an audio commentary, which is a shame considering that Brooks is so engaging in interviews. All viewers get is an anamorphic transfer of the theatrical widescreen print and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio track. Both of these live up to Real Life's original theatrical print. Though including Brooks' hilarious short films from the period would have been nice, fans of Albert Brooks and "mockumentaries" such as Best in Show will be pleased to have Real Life in their collections.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
Albert Brooks -- a genius who more than once made Johnny Carson cry from laughing -- is one of America's most underrated comic minds. His 1979 debut feature, Real Life, begins as a satire of the much-lauded PBS verité series, An American Family with Brooks playing himself, explaining the scientific technology involved in choosing and screening a genuine model American family. All of the resultant humor emerges from the weird collisions between reality, fiction, family, director, and the various psychiatrists and scientists assembled for this remarkable motion picture. Arguably the very first theatrically released mockumentary (barring the Rutles biopic, All You Need Is Cash, and Citizen Kane's newsreel), Real Life ultimately piles gag upon gag, growing in scope and poignancy as it barrels forward. The DVD includes a priceless trailer which Brooks, bizarrely, shot in 3-D -- "so you can literally feel the excitement."
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
In 1975, comedian Albert Brooks was offered a gig as permanent host of TV's new late night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. Instead, Brooks opted to write and direct short films for the fledgling show. Though his tenure lasted only one season, Brooks' films, including the classic and prescient Show Us Your Guns, were mini-masterpieces of the mockumentary. For his debut as a feature filmmaker a few years later, Brooks spun off one of his SNL shorts into this spoof of the PBS mini-series An American Family (1973). The film starred Brooks as an obnoxious, Hollywood version of himself, attempting to ape the success of An American Family with his own documentary about "real" family life. Real Life met with critical acclaim and established Brooks as a cult favorite among aficionados of intellectual comedy. Others experimented with mockumentaries at the same time (most notably Eric Idle of Monty Python with his Beatles parody The Rutles (1978)), but it could be argued that his SNL films made Brooks one of the first and best practitioners of the form. The films certainly fit seamlessly into Brooks' overall body of work: his earlier comedy albums and infamous TV talk show appearances displayed a similar proclivity for deconstructing accepted standards and blurring the lines between entertainment and reality. One of Brooks' best friends, Rob Reiner, later achieved great success with his own debut as a director, This Is Spinal Tap (1984), often cited as the greatest example of the mockumentary form -- and a film that bore more than a slight resemblance to both Real Life and The Rutles, a similarity perhaps due at least in part to actor and comic Harry Shearer, who co-wrote and co-stars in both Real Life and This Is Spinal Tap.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/13/2001
UPC:
0097360128741
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
14,347

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Grodin Warren Yeager
Frances Lee McCain Jeanette Yeager
J.A. Preston Dr. Ted Cleary
Matthew Tobin Dr. Howard Hill
Albert Brooks Himself
Dick Haynes Harris
Lisa Urette Lisa Yeager
Robert Stirrat Eric Yeager
David Spielberg Dr. Jeremy Nolan
Jennings Lang Martin Brand
Norman Bartold Dr. Isaac Steven
James L. Brooks Evaluator
Susan Clark Nurse
Adam Grant The Feltons
Johnny Haymer Dr. Rennert
Mort Lindsey Himself
Zeke Manners Driver
Julie Payne Dr. Kramer
James Ritz Jack
Harry Shearer Pete
S.W. Smith Actor

Technical Credits
Albert Brooks Director,Screenwriter
David Finfer Editor
Monica Johnson Screenwriter
Mort Lindsey Score Composer
Linda Marder Art Director
Eric Saarinen Cinematographer
Harry Shearer Screenwriter
Penelope Spheeris Producer
Linda Spheeris Art Director

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Scene Index

Scene Selection
0. Scene Selection
1. Be Yourselves [9:00]
2. Family Testing [4:37]
3. The Yeagers [5:24]
4. The First Supper [6:30]
5. Alone For The Weekend [:45]
6. Film The Gynecologist [4:33]
7. Black Meets White [7:41]
8. Beterinary Emergency [:36]
9. Bad Times [2:17]
10. Feedback Session [:06]
11. A Happy Family [1:17]
12. Nightmare In The Desert [3:04]
13. We Want Out [4:50]
14. Save This Picture [2:46]
15. Epilogue/End Credits [6:55]

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