Albert Brooks’ 1991 dramedy finds Brooks himself as a
recently deceased ad executive caught in an otherworldly limbo where he must,
literally, defend his life to a heavenly court in order to determine his fate
in the afterlife. It’s a terrific premise but the comic possibilities are
somewhat deflated by writer/director Brooks’ decision to remake himself into a
bona fide romantic leading man. The newly reformed comedian ends up indulging
in many of the cliches he usually skewers. With Meryl Streep as Brooks’ celestial
sweetheart and the great Rip Torn as his less than angelic attorney.