Real Life (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures

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Albert Brooks
as Albert Brooks, Himself
Charles Grodin
as Warren Yeager
Frances Lee McCain
as Jeannette Yeager
Dick Haynes
as Harris
Matthew Tobin
as Dr. Howard Hill
J.A. Preston
as Dr. Ted Cleary
Mort Lindsey
as Himself
James Ritz
as Jack
James L. Brooks
as Evaluator
Zeke Manners
as Driver
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
Thelma Bernstein
as Margaret
Johnny Haymer
as Dr. Rennert
as Horse Owner
Susan Clark
as Nurse
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 (17) | Top Critics (2)

Mr. Brooks is at his most droll.

May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Albert Brooks's first and funniest feature.

April 12, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 24, 2015

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

Full Review… | May 28, 2010

Albert Brooks is so deft at showing how filmmaking distorts the very reality it aims to record honestly that it's hard to watch family documentaries anymore without thinking about Real Life.

Full Review… | November 1, 2006

Though amusing in spots, it goes too far with its one-note joke until it becomes abrasive.

Full Review… | February 15, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

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