A perplexing movie in that I don't really think it is all that good. Yet I continually come back to it. This is one understated movie from beginning to end. A couple of unexpected bumps would have been a welcome relief. It is a fairly ingenious plot but Brooks does little to develop it. There is nothing special about the characters, the acting or the humour. You have no real reason to cheer for the Brooks character, the Streep character is boring and, far too often, the movie settles for banal and effortless chuckles. Given the premise, there is plenty of opportunity for Brooks to say something profound, wry or witty. But he never does. The ending is pedestrian and devoid of insight. Heaven seems to be the most mundane place possible. I'm not sure I want to go there.
And yet, I have watched this movie many times and, everytime, catch myself sitting on the couch with the most idiotic smile on my face throughout the film. For that reason, and the fact that I invariably spend a couple of days afterwards wondering how my life would stand up to the same type of scrutiny, the film gets 4 stars. So, maybe in some devilishly subtle way, the movie does work after all. Despite everything I've said, I like it. I just don't know why.
While I'm here, someone help me out. In his review, does LP Quagmire really think Mel Brooks and Albert Brooks are the same person? Or have I been punk'd by a brilliant piece of sham idiocy?