vineri, 7 aprilie 2017

Defending Your Life, written and directed by Albert Brooks, who also has the leading role

Defending Your Life, written and directed by Albert Brooks, who also has the leading role

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

In my view, this is an excellent comedy that has been overlooked.
It is not Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles or There’s Something About Mary, but it is worthwhile and thought provoking.

It is about Self- Esteem, Bravery and cowardice, Redemption, weakness and frailty, love and the other world.
The hero is a likeable, is somewhat rigid, resigned, somewhat disappointed and unhappy man called Daniel Miller.

The film starts with him receiving a present and talking about his colleagues that he wants to pack together into a…woman.
He then drives to a car lot where he has bought a $ 37,000 BMW and he plans to drive it on his birthday…

-          You plan on being alone?
-          Yes
-          On your birthday??
-          Exactly

And herein we have a major problem, stated from the introduction, where we learn that the protagonist is not sociable…
And it has been proven by psychological research that:

-          Isolation is twice as dangerous as…smoking!!

The car salesman is funny and outrageous when he says:

-          Boy, you lost a lot of weight!
-          But you just saw me two days ago!
-          Something’s different, very different!
-          $ 37,000 paid for the car!

The salesman is applying here the liking principle, as explained in his classic Influence, by Robert Cialdini.
From the car lot, Daniel Miller is driving away into the busy road, where he looks for a lost CD and is hit and killed by a bus.

He now reaches a strange place that looks familiar and that is the intention, as it is later explained and we can look into Influence again to gather the importance of being in a familiar place, with people who look familiar.

This is Judgment city and the transition between life on Earth and alternatives is taking place and one is:

-          Defending One’s Life

Those who “live „here, have a better use of their brains and they brag about it in front of the “little brains”.
If we use only 3% of our brain on earth, here many use 48, 54 or more of their capacity and the Freudian joke is:

-          Back on earth we had “penis envy” and this has changed here to “brain envy”

Daniel Miller meets a beautiful, positive and kind woman named Julia, played by the “most overrated” actress, as The Donald called her-

-          Meryl Streep

While Daniel Miller has to Defend His Life and his fears, failures, comical mistakes and idiosyncrasies, Julia is a winner:

-          Generous and daring, she has braved a fire to sake kids and cat, having lead a positive and happy life

The main message here is:

-          Be positive and courageous, have confidence and Self- Esteem- for that you would do well to read the classic
-          The Six Pillars of Self Esteem

While watching this excellent film…

-          “I was trapped near the inner circle of thought”

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