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Real Life is a 1979 American comedy film starring Albert Brooks (in his directorial debut), who also co-authored the screenplay. It is a spoof of the 1973 reality television program An American Family and portrays a documentary filmmaker named Albert Brooks who attempts to live with and film a dysfunctional family for one full year.

Real Life
Directed by Albert Brooks
Produced by Penelope Spheeris
Written by Albert Brooks
Monica Johnson
Harry Shearer
Starring Albert Brooks
Charles Grodin
Frances Lee McCain
J. A. Preston
Matthew Tobin
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • March 29, 1979 (1979-03-29)
Running time
99 minutes
Language English
Box office $364,642[1]

Charles Grodin co-stars as the family's patriarch who consents to permit cameras in his Arizona home. Real-life producer Jennings Lang also has an acting role in Real Life.



Ordinary family man Warren Yeager and his wife Jeannette are delighted to have a documentary filmmaker, Albert Brooks, choose them for a new cinematic and "scientific" experiment—he intends to capture every waking moment of their daily life on film. It is a project Brooks confidently announces to a large gathering, even greeting them with a song.

The concept is for the Yeagers and their two children to go about their business at their Phoenix home, work and school as if nothing is different from a typical day, ignoring the fact that men wearing cameras that look like Star Wars helmets are recording every move they make and every word they say.

Brooks promises to be as unobtrusive as possible, taking up a separate residence in the neighborhood and promising not to interfere. Little by little, though, the stress of everyday life is complicated by the presence of the film crew. Brooks also becomes the unwitting object of Mrs. Yeager's attentions.

Yeager, a veterinarian, becomes grief-stricken when he is filmed accidentally causing a horse's death. A grandparent's death similarly upsets Jeannette. Soon the couple stops talking, becoming, as Brooks puts it, "lifeless" in their every day life. The unscrupulous man from Hollywood is likely to go to any lengths to make his film more interesting, even if it means dressing up as a clown to cheer them up or setting the Yeagers' house on fire.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Real Life (1979) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 12 September 2017. 

External linksEdit