A man and his wife confront his terminal cancer as he videotapes life lessons for his unborn son. After being told he only has months to live and heartbroken at the prospect of not getting to know his unborn child, Michae... more »l Keaton decides to make a video about himself and his life so that his child will know him. Also stars Nicole Kidman.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 3/26/2016...
Michael Keaton handles every role he takes on with so much emotional reality you'd swear he lived it already! Whether he portrays Batman or a man who is a dedicated cop (One Good Cop) or a man who knows he is dying and wishes to leave a legacy on film to his yet unborn son (My Life)he does it extremely well. When Mr Mom takes on an acting role you can bet he will have us either laughing or crying or at least thinking about life! In My Life Keaton is a man with a mission. He knows his time on this planet is limited and his wife is pregnant so he dedicates his last days to showing his son what he will be missing without Dad. Nicole Kidman is the dying mans wife and patiently endures his endless filming, with an old fashioned video tape machine, as she carries then delivers their child. Outliving his doctors predictions, he gets the opportunity to capture on film his last moments as well as the newborn baby. This is a very special movie!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sara C. Reviewed on 12/7/2008...
My Life is a very simple movie with no special effects and no fast moving scenes. It is nice to have a movie that is just simply based on the actors and the plot. It is just simply a drama. However, in its simplicity there is such a deep and true emotional story that the movie speeds on. My Life is about a a married couple that have recently found out that they are pregnant and the husband, Bob Jones, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bob then decides to create a video diary for his unborn child to leave behind for when he passes on. My Life is one of the few movies regarding terminal cancer that does a pretty good job showing the emotional path of the person diagnosed and the effect it has on the family. This movie brings me to tears every time I watch it. Yet, I still watch it again and again. Within its sadness, there is also a story of hope and not ever taking your life for granted. That is a good reminder to have for anyone.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Facing the inevitable
Scott FS | Sacramento, CA United States | 01/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully" - Samuel Johnson
Michael Keaton gives an effective and heart-felt performance as Bob Jones, a young, successful PR executive married to a beautiful woman (Nicole Kidman) who is expecting their first child. The bottom falls out of his life when he is diagnosed with a fatal illness, and only given months to live. He is forced to exam his life that he's really just been rushing through. Bob Jones not only has never stopped to smell the roses; he hasn't even noticed that they are there at all.
'My Life' is a realistic portrayl of what must go through one's mind when one is brought up short by such stunning news. Although the topic is certainly depressing, it is something we will all one day face. This is how one man deals with the terribly bad hand he has been dealt. Especially poignant is the fact that not only won't he probably be around to help raise his child, but he might not even make it long enough to see his child born. Heart-wrenching.
In several pivotal scenes, Jones decides to hope for a miracle, and visits an Asian healer (Haing Ngor who starred in 'The Killing Fields') who tells him that he has too much anger and hurt in him. Jones resists the whole notion of exploring how he got to where he is, at least for a while. His anger at his family is one point of anger he must struggle with.
Keaton does an excellent job here. We see flashes of the actor we saw in 'Mr. Mom' and earlier movies, sort of a lovable, good-hearted guy with a funny edge to him. His Bob Jones evolves slowly and realistically from a man who is stunned and angry, to a man determined to let his child know who he is. Ngor also plays the right note as a practioner who can't cure his patient, but perhaps can help him in his last journey.
A potentially maudlin, down-beat subject is handled with just the right amount of empathy and gentleness and with a light touch.
Highly recommended. Very highly recommended if you've had such a scare, are living with a terminal illness, or have had a loved one deal with such issues."
An emotional roller-coaster
William D. Shingleton | United States | 10/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember seeing My Life when it came out ten years ago and thinking that it was a wonderful film. When I purchased it recently on DVD the film itself had lost none of its poignancy.
The plot of the film has relatively few twists and turns. At the beginning of the film Bob Jones (played by Michael Keaton) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Jones's wife, Gail (Nicole Kidman) is pregnant with their first child, so Bob decides to start filming a series of videotapes that can be shown to the son he knows he is unlikely to ever see.
Gail eventually also gets Bob to visit a Chinese healer (Hiang Ngor), who apparently is using a mix of traditional remedies and psychology to help Bob. This is the point where the film could have gotten extremely corny, but director Bruce Joel Rubin does not overdo the mysticism and avoids taking the easy way out by having Bob make a sudden and dramatic recovery. The healer is essentially just a vehicle to move us into Bob's personal history and conflicts with his siblings and brother and is extremely well done.
This is a superbly acted film. This film stars Nichole Kidman before she made Nichole Kidman films and a very versitile Michael Keaton, who was coming off of the Batman series. Their strong performances are buttressed by supporting roles from Bradley Whitford (The West Wing), Queen Latifah (Chicago), Michael Constantine (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Richard Schiff (The West Wing) and Rebecca Schull (Wings). It is an extremely deep cast.
This is an emotional film and is, at the end of the day, about someone with cancer, so be prepared to be crying by the end. However, instead of being two hours of tension, the film is crafted so that after a particularly dramatic sequence you have a section that includes some humor, mostly involving Bob's guidance to his son. Because the end, when it comes, is not totally unexpected, you don't finish the film feeling drained; instead, the ultimate message behind the plot is one of hope and redemption.
Overall, the film is excellent if you like drama - if you are looking for a popcorn film, this may not be for you. Sadly, there are very few extras on the DVD. However, if you want to see a well-acted, well-written, well-acted and mostly serious film, you can do far worse than My Life."
Scott FS | 02/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bruce Joel Rubin won an Oscar for writing "Ghost" (a film I kinda liked) and has also scribed "Jacob's Ladder" and "Deep Impact". Yet here, in his only directorial feature, he paints a picture of inner turmoil and redemption so poignant that you'll bawl your eyes out (like I did). Released the same year as the hyped-up Tom Hanks AIDS drama "Philadelphia", "My Life" proves to be a much better film in that instead of presenting a stereotype and asking us to sympathize with him because it was revolutionary according to Hollywood standards, Rubin takes a theme which is relatively familiar to cinema, adds the twist of the man videotaping his own life, and asks us to share the psychological pain the man is going through. I do not believe I have ever seen Michael Keaton in a better role than this; the camera lingers on his face through many shots, such as one where he has just viewed a colleague's cold-hearted description of him, and another where he's staring into a mirror. There's a wiseacre brilliance to Keaton's acting style, and one thing I've noticed about him through the years is how he plays devoted father-types: "Mr. Mom", "One Good Cop", "Multiplicity". None of these movies showcase Keaton's talent of emotional hurt beneath a wisecracking exterior like "My Life" does, however, and perhaps that's just as well. The film proceeds through his cancer by steps: denial, anger, acceptance, etc. And yet the film doesn't feel like an AA meeting. The late, great Haing S. Ngor provides a Zen type of philosophy as a faith healer, and his advice to Keaton in the movie leads to a subplot involving Keaton's blue-collar parents that gives the film an additional layer of meaning. The Ukranian wedding and reception reminded me of "The Deer Hunter" in the fact that the culture of the characters define who they are and are given greater force in regards to the final tragedy. The most moving aspect of the film involves Keaton's search for forgiveness from his father, who is shown in the film as a chain-smoker perhaps as an ironic twist that his son is the one with the cancer. This motif is continued during the final ten minutes as the father flicks his lighter on and off while his son lie dying in the next room, unable to smoke a cigarette. This film received mixed reviews from film critics when it was first released (compared to the raving they did for "Philadelphia"), yet as time moves on, I believe this film will move more people in the end than Hanks'. The final realization of the backyard circus near the end of the film is one of the most moving examples of the "Good things happen to those who wait" virtues that I've ever seen captured on film, and the utter inevitability of the father-son reconciliation is held back for just so long and so perfectly understated that it ranks with "Field of Dreams" as a testament to the final fruits of fatherhood. "My Life" also includes a beautiful score by John Barry, the same man who wrote the music for "Born Free", "Out of Africa", "Dances with Wolves", and "Cry the Beloved Country". His music for this film ranks among his best and is regularly featured on news shows whenever they want to evoke sentiment. The whole movie has the weight of tragedy over it, but it's exhilarating that the film can make you care so much. The film's example of a loving husband-and-wife is perfectly illustrated in the shot where Keaton and Nicole Kidman gently dance together in the middle of an amusement park as people walk by worried about their own minute problems. This is a beautiful movie."
This movie makes you ask: What's my legacy?
life movies | Riverside, CA | 01/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""My Life" is a movie that goes beyond simple entertainment. It actually stops you dead in your tracks, and casues you to reflect deeply on your own life's purpose. This movie will help your remember and cherish what's most important."
The power sneaks up on you
Earl Hazell | New York | 09/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie sneaks up on you. I saw it with my girlfriend and therefore, as she saw it before many times, knew the plot. I thought Nicole Kidman did a fine job but was miscast and could not therefore connect with many of the necessary nuances of her character and their relationship. It had some powerful things to say about family realtionships, the doctor/patient relationship, hope, forgiveness, the actual nature and expression of love, the craft and the art of letting go as opposed to the contrivances of such, and the love a man has for his family, his wife, and his child.But all those themes, when brought together in concert with some virtuosic moments of acting, have a synergistic effect. Michael Keaton's performance and that of the supporting cast take the power of the powerful themes they are given responsibility for and say something, do something, with such poignancy as to actually rise above the inherent weaknesses in the script and the cinematography. They turn the movie itself into a symbol of what or who one loves and how one should love: taking all the flaws not just into consideration, but loving them as part of what makes them- and life- beautiful. That is why, I believe, it is impossible for people not to have seen the many flaws in the movie, but still feel little need to point them out or dwell on them. By the time this movie comes close to connecting with the major source of pain and/or crises in your personal life, you are already sold and have started falling in love with some or most of the characters. Needless to say, when it does connect for you... I began watching the movie feeling only mildly moved (while my girlfriend cried, again), but wept quietly for about an hour after it was over (long after she was done).A very special, poignant film."