Real Life (1979)



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Movie Info

This film is a poker-faced cinema-verite satire of the PBS series An American Family. The film blurs the line between fantasy and reality in its portrayal of a comedian named Albert Brooks who is making his first film, a documentary portrait of a Phoenix family.

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Albert Brooks
as Albert Brooks, Himself
Charles Grodin
as Warren Yeager
Frances Lee McCain
as Jeannette Yeager
Matthew Tobin
as Dr. Howard Hill
J.A. Preston
as Dr. Ted Cleary
Mort Lindsey
as Himself
James L. Brooks
as Evaluator
Lisa Urette
as Lisa Yeager
Robert Stirrat
as Eric Yeager
Dudley DeZonia
as The Felton
Barbara DeZonia
as The Felton
Carolyn Silas
as The Felton
Adam Grant
as The Felton
Belle Richter
as Jeanette's Mother
Jerry Jensen
as Jeanette's Father
Johnny Haymer
as Dr. Rennert
as Horse Owner
Ward Rodgers
as Minister
David Spielberg
as Dr. Jeremy Nolan
Julie Payne
as Dr. Kramer
Jennings Lang
as Martin Brand
Carlos Jurado
as Reporter
S.W. Smith
as Reporter
Fred Wolfson
as Reporter
Norman Bartold
as Dr. Isaac Steven
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Critic Reviews for Real Life

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3)

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…

Mr. Brooks is at his most droll.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Albert Brooks's first and funniest feature.

Apr 12, 2005

Real Life is a jewel of American comedy and one of the first mockumentaries ever made.

Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…

It's astonishing, and a bit sad really, how prescient Real Life is.

Feb 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The first of Brooks' analytical comedies is his funniest and most rigorous

May 28, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Real Life


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.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

20 years before reality tv, albert brooks destroyed the lives of a phoenix family in this hilarious mockumentary

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Absolutely great!

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

Albert Brooks can just look into the camera and I crack up. Here he is at his best, doing a reality show (far ahead of it's time) on Charles Grodin's family. Brook's ego demands that he take center stage (shades of Michael Moore?) and he winds up distorting the reality of what he is filming. Very prophetic along with being very, very funny. "The house is really burning!"

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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