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      Real Life

      PG Released Mar 2, 1979 1h 39m Comedy List
      82% Tomatometer 22 Reviews 83% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Filmmaker Albert Brooks wants to create a documentary that will get to the very heart of what it means to be an American family. To that end, he persuades the Yeagers of Phoenix, Ariz., to let him and his camera crew document virtually every moment of their waking lives. What's supposed to be a cinematic presentation of reality, however, soon becomes something quite different, as Brooks can't stop himself from comically interfering in their lives. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered May 29 Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (22) Critics Reviews
      Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times A great idea. But the movie that Albert Brooks has made from it, alas, gets most of its laughs in the first 10 minutes, slides into a long middle stretch of repetitive situations and ends on a note of embarrassing hysteria. Rated: 1/4 May 16, 2019 Full Review Gary Arnold Washington Post While the fictitious Albert Brooks takes us cheerfully into his confidence, the Albert Brooks behind the camera sees through him with hilarious clarity. Apr 30, 2018 Full Review Janet Maslin New York Times Mr. Brooks is at his most droll. Rated: 4/5 May 9, 2005 Full Review Mitchell Beaupre Paste Magazine Brooks recognizes that the second you put “real life” on screen it becomes something else entirely. Rated: 9.5/10 Mar 25, 2024 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...an intriguing (and impressively prescient) premise that's employed to exceedingly hit-and-miss effect by Brooks... Rated: 2/4 Oct 30, 2020 Full Review Richard von Busack Pacific Sun (San Rafael, CA) Real Life is a jewel of American comedy and one of the first mockumentaries ever made. Jan 2, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (74) audience reviews
      Alec B The film's merits extend way beyond it's (probably accidental) prophetic vision of what reality television is today as it's also one of the most cynical and vicious comedies ever made. Brooks' performance is perhaps the best and most unflattering in the history of people playing themselves in a film. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 11/10/23 Full Review William L "I think you'd be surprised at how much alike we really are." "I'd be more than surprised, I'd be suicidal." Real Life is a legitimately funny half-mockumentary that can't entirely escape being shackled to a drama that isn't half as interesting, but ends up being surprisingly prescient. Brooks himself has great presence and comedic timing as the self-obsessed and smarmy director; it's entirely thanks to his sense of humor that the film stays engaging and tight, poking fun at the 'creative process' and the personalities behind it. Being early in the mockumentary era, Real Life's greatest shortcoming is its unwillingness to commit to its premise, introducing a shaky-cam, amateurish style of filmmaking before forgetting that and opting instead for a more conventional technique in many segments where the film starts to slip away from what hooked audiences in the first place. That said, Brooks does accomplish something that only really solid comedies have done: mixing sincere themes and comedy without making either seem insincere. In Brooks' case, it seems that his directorial debut has only gotten sharper with time, touching on the concept of media being invited into people's lives and taking it over as they 'become entertainment'. Maybe it's more for chasing clout than artistic merit, but the principle is still the same. (3.5/5) Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 10/27/21 Full Review Audience Member Albert Brooks accurately forecast the sham of "reality" shows such as The Real Housewifes ... franchise. Seeing the show-biz possibilities of the early 70s pioneer PBS An American Family, he uses science to sort though hundreds of families to find the perfectly average one, the Yeagers of Phoenix, AZ. The show starts off realistically enough with the wife at the family dinner table raging with PMS. Brooks can't help but insinuate himself more and more firmly in the "reality" - up to and including setting fire to and burning down the family home. Johnny C sez check it out - more real than reality shows themselves. Hilarious. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member The best comedy movie ever made! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review scott m Brooks saw the future of television. Good stuff. Although he should have taken it a lot farther. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review s r Another lost flixster rating. 1001 movies to see before you die. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      97% 89% Airplane! TRAILER for Airplane! 73% 57% Meatballs 100% 69% Citizens Band 17% 52% Summer Rental 90% 94% Paper Moon Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Filmmaker Albert Brooks wants to create a documentary that will get to the very heart of what it means to be an American family. To that end, he persuades the Yeagers of Phoenix, Ariz., to let him and his camera crew document virtually every moment of their waking lives. What's supposed to be a cinematic presentation of reality, however, soon becomes something quite different, as Brooks can't stop himself from comically interfering in their lives.
      Director
      Albert Brooks
      Production Co
      Paramount Pictures
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 2, 1979, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jun 15, 2011
      Runtime
      1h 39m
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