Real Life

Director: Albert Brooks
Year Released: 1979
Rating: 3.0

Albert Brooks brings a camera crew (with camera-helmets that look like space suits) into Charles Grodin's home to record the 'truth' of modern living in this amusing satire - it's written well enough to present its clairvoyant concepts (reality TV not being very 'real,' the psychological effects of recording 'normal' life as being decidedly negative) meaningfully but at the same time stays light and amusing, thanks, in part, to the dry humor and passionate extroversion of Albert Brooks. It's telling, too, when Brooks talks about how 'real' television has to be fake to work, and how this explains why today's 'reality' shows feel so completely scripted (and 'starring' aspiring actors and actresses). The inner complexities of the family being filmed aren't bothered with, but the movie isn't exactly about them, either. [If you have the DVD, don't forget to watch the hilarious trailer, which doesn't have clips from the movie, but is done in 3-D and has Brooks gawking at the talents of the world's greatest paddleball champion. Super amusing.]