Defending Your Life is a 1991 romantic comedy/fantasy film about a man who must justify his life-long lack of assertiveness after he dies and arrives in the afterlife. The film was written, directed by, and stars Albert Brooks. It also stars Meryl Streep, Rip Torn and Lee Grant. Shirley MacLaine has a cameo appearance as herself, acting as the holographic host of the "Past Lives Pavilion", a reference to her publicly known belief in reincarnation. The movie was filmed entirely in and around Los Angeles, California. Despite its comedic overtones, Defending Your Life contains elements of drama and allegory.
Yuppie Daniel Miller is killed in a car accident and goes to Judgment City, a waiting room for the afterlife. During the day, he must prove in a courtroom-style process that he successfully overcame his fears (a hard task, given the pitiful life we are shown); at night, he falls in love with Julia, the only other young person in town. Nights are a time of hedonistic pleasure, since you can (for instance) eat all you want without getting fat.