John Hensler’s review published on Letterboxd :
What happens when we die? I often get rolled-back eyeballs from people when I comment that Albert Brooks’ version of the afterlife makes more sense to me personally than the garden-variety biblically-inspired versions.
I was trapped near the inner circle of thought.
But I *do* feel that way, arched eyebrows or not. There are so many universal human truths at the center of Defending Your Life that it unfolds like a universal coaching manual for humanity.
Fear is like a giant fog. It sits on your brain and blocks everything.
So many great performances in this film. Rip Torn’s best. Streep is of course a natural. A bit amazing that Buck Henry appears in this and Heaven Can Wait – another great film about the afterlife. If Mr. Henry would just show up on The Good Place, I would be beside myself with joy.
When you use more than five percent of your brain, you don’t want to be on earth, believe me.
So... for me, this is Albert Brooks’ best work (the high point of a fantastic career, to be sure). Endlessly watchable and quotable, DYL works as a silly comedy, as a religious satire and penetrates deep to the questions that plague us all of our lives.
There was one person you were really cheap with. Over and over again. I wish you'd been more generous with him.