Rendezvous in the afterlife

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German title Rendezvous in the afterlife
Original title Defending Your Life
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1991
length 107 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Albert Brooks
script Albert Brooks
production Robert Grand
Michael Grillo
Herb Nanas
music Michael Gore
camera Allen Daviau
cut David Finfer

Rendezvous in the Hereafter - a heavenly comedy about life after (short title: Rendezvous in the Hereafter ) is an American romantic comedy directed by Albert Brooks , who also plays the leading role of Daniel Miller , from 1991. The film opened on April 30 1992 in German cinemas.


Daniel Miller, an ironic contemporary in the marketing industry , treats himself to a new car for his birthday, with which he is promptly involved in a fatal accident with a bus on his first trip. When he arrives in the afterlife he finds no trace of gates of heaven or purgatory , instead he is in "Judgment City", administrative center and first point of contact for people who have recently died from the western part of the United States.

It is becoming increasingly clear to him that he is now responsible for his life, which is largely made up of fear. In a five-day trial, the tough "accuser" Lena Foster tries to convince the jury, consisting of two members, that Daniel has not yet overcome his fear and has to go back to earth to try again. In his defense, he is supported by the smart and humorous Bob Diamond, who tries to help Daniel successfully pass the examination procedure.

During the five days of the proceedings, a total of nine situations from Daniel's life are viewed in a negotiation room on a screen and then analyzed, evaluated and treated with regard to the occurrence of fear. Between the days of negotiation, Daniel meets the enchanting Julia while visiting a moderate comedy club. The two fall in love and spend a lot of time together.

On the last evening of their get-together, Julia wants to spend the night with Daniel, who backs down out of fear. It is becoming increasingly clear that Daniel, unlike the selfless and courageous Julia, does not have a good chance of getting any further in the universe, which is true on the day of the jury's decision, because to the surprise of Daniels and Bob Diamonds, the final evening will be performed.

Bob accompanies the deeply unhappy Daniel to the "train station" where he is supposed to start his journey back to earth to start his new life (after his memory has been erased). As the trams start moving, Daniel notices Julia, who is waving over to him from a distant tram for those who have “got further” and calling out his name in despair.

Thereupon Daniel makes the decision not to come to terms with the situation and opens his seat belt and the train doors in extreme danger. With severe pain from the electric train field, Daniel tries with all his might to get to Julia's train through the dangerously passing trains. When he reaches it, he jumps onto the door landing and holds on to the train with the last of his strength. Julia desperately tries to loosen her seatbelt on the tram, which she fails. Daniel also fails to open the door from the outside.

Finally, you see this scene on the screen of Daniel's negotiation room, where Bob, Lena and the two jury members watch with emotion. After Bob asked Lena whether Daniel is brave enough for her, she lets out a smile and a jury member presses an announcement button with the words “Let him in.” The doors of the tram then slide open and Daniel and Julia fall in the poor. The tram goes into a tunnel and the film ends.


"The idea is nice 'heaven' comedy, but the bottom line is little more than inconsequential entertainment that lacks charm and ease."

"Somewhat cheesy and exaggerated, the film [...] causes a lot of heartache and the funny interludes bring tears to the eyes of genre fans."

Rendezvous in the afterlife contains all the ingredients that characterize a classic unearthly comedy. Brooks finds the appropriately sterile images for the afterlife, doesn't skimp on melancholy-romantic nuances, pulls the yuppie world through the cocoa and has a real professional at his side in Hollywood icon Meryl Streep as a love angel. The fact that the whole thing still looks a bit cheesy and exaggerated shouldn't bother fans of this genre niche. "

- Video Week




year Award Nominated category
1992 Saturn Award Rendezvous in the afterlife
Albert Brooks
Meryl Streep
Best Fantasy film
Best Screenplay
Best Actress

DVD release

Originally announced for 2006, the DVD hit German stores on September 21, 2007 after the release date had been postponed several times. It does not contain any extras, but the original sound can be set.


  1. Rendezvous in the afterlife. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed October 31, 2016 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. ProSieben .de: film database 2007
  3. Amazon .de: Review of VideoWoche 2007

Web links