Defending Your Life

Movie review by Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 13+

Priceless comedy with a message-rich heart, mild swearing.

PG 1991 111 minutes

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Underrated comedy gem with humor that kids won't understand

Aside from his voice work in the Finding Nemo movies kids are not likely to understand the humor of comedic actor and filmmaker Albert Brooks who in his live action roles is often compared to a "West Coast Woody Allen." So parents can rest assured your children will probably be bored by this film and not understand the humor, so you don't really need to worry about them while watching it. For adults this film does have some crude jokes about sex, penis size, and testicles. There are several profanities "s--t" is said three times and intermittent "hells and "damns" mainly from the late Rip Torn who gives a fantastic supporting performance here. There is also a reference to the main character sleeping with a woman as a test of trust vs. fear, and he doesn't sleep with her becasue he is worried he might get an STD. In another scene a man makes references to strip clubs, and in a flashback sequence a kid is bullies and humiliated by being beat up and is unable to defend himself. The scene is not very violent but will be upsetting to those who had a previous history with being bullied. There is also one reference to the main character getting "stoned" in college. The language and mild violence here is pretty tame and within PG limits, but there are some intense scenes as well as crude sexual humor and references that I feel this movie nowadays would be a PG-13. I don't think anyone under the age of 15 will enjoy or appreciate this film or understand the genius of it, nor its wonderful message about believing in yourself and the great benefits of confidence and overcoming your fears but it is fine for older teens and adults. The story may also be confusing for teens to follow.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
2 people found this helpful.

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