The Painter and the Thief
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The best comedy movie ever made!
Brooks saw the future of television. Good stuff. Although he should have taken it a lot farther.
Another lost flixster rating. 1001 movies to see before you die.
Some original stuff years ahead of its time.
Smart and funny, and launched the most underrated comedy filmmaker in cinema history.
Obviously ahead of its time on prophetic, very clever and brooks give a great performance. It would have been the perfect satire if brooks went for the big jokes less and kept with the great premise. Its the comedy version of "network".
Cinema Verite at its most chaotic! This anthropological mockumentary is Robert Flaherty meets Woody Allen with a slightly fractured Gone With the Wind ending. This really is comic genius.
Albert Brooks' first feature film showcased how ahead of his time he was, by making a comedy about a comedian (a warped version of Brooks himself), who sets out to make a documentary about a normal American family, with the help of a Scientific Institute...but his own involvement with the family screws up the experiment and may cause more harm than good. Quite funny, and (in some ways) way ahead of the curve on what eventually came in the form of Reality TV.
The Woody Allen of the West Coast, Albert Brooks' first film is also a brilliant one. Prescient, incisive, acidic, Real Life's values go beyond the reality TV angle, as it also takes a stab at fame, sociological myths and the very nature of Hollywood. Plus, its ending should absolutely be replicated by the Kardashians.
In many ways, Real Life is a film far ahead of its time. Though it lampoons PBS' An American Family (1973), one of the earliest examples of "reality" TV, it often feels very prescient in its observations of a form that wouldn't rise to prominence for another twenty years.
Here in his first film, Albert Brooks presents a mockumentary (those would also become more prevalent later) in his signature wry, witty style. Focusing on a "real-life" American family, the audience is treated to all the hilarious behind the scenes goings on that one would imagine/expect from such a project -- culminating in Brook's self-depricating filmmaker character getting too close to his subjects and the family in question realizing how much the project has ruined their lives.
Brooks makes many great observations on the reality TV genre before it even exists. There's a particularly hilarious bit concerning a type of large, futuristic-looking, 'steady-cam' worn by cameramen over their heads so that they can remain unobtrusive. Making them look and sound like Darth Vader, their design obviously has the opposite effect.
Brooks, Grodin and company also do a great job (the kids in the Yeager family aren't too good) delivering the sarcastic, dry wit that Brooks is known for, as well as exhibiting a certain authenticity in their supposedly 'in the moment' exchanges.
Albert Brooks' humor isn't for everyone and there are plenty of comedic misses to go with the hits here, but there's also no doubt that this film has improved with age. Just taking a look at TLC's lineup (and the subsequent headlines that its reality stars are making) provides some perspective on Real Life and how Brooks' observations have evolved over time. Like the plot of this film, it ultimately isn't pretty.