This Is My Life (1992 film)

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This Is My Life
This Is My Life VideoCover.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNora Ephron
Screenplay byNora Ephron
Delia Ephron
Based onThis Is Your Life by Meg Wolitzer
Produced byLynda Obst
CinematographyBobby Byrne
Edited byRobert M. Reitano
Music byCarly Simon
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 21, 1992 (1992-02-21)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million[1]
Box office$2,922,094[2]

This Is My Life is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that marked the directorial debut of screenwriter Nora Ephron. The screenplay, written by Ephron and her sister, Delia Ephron, is based on the book, This Is Your Life, by Meg Wolitzer.


Dottie Ingels works at a cosmetics counter but aspires to be a stand-up comedian. Ingels' Aunt Harriet dies and leaves the family her home in Queens, which Ingels then sells to move to an apartment in Manhattan. Ingels' comedy career starts to take off with the help of her agent, Arnold Moss and Moss's assistant, Claudia Curtis. Ingels' children, Erica and Opal get angry at Dottie because they hardly ever see her. Erica and Opal then run away to find their father upstate in Albany, whom Opal doesn't even remember, being only 1 or 2 years old when he left them.


In addition, Estelle Harris briefly appears as Aunt Harriet, whose death in the opening minutes of the film launches the direction of the plot.


The film was at Columbia Pictures but was put into turnaround in 1990. Ephron allegedly asked Jon Peters if he had read the script who answered that "I've made over 60 movies. I don't have to read a script to know whether it works or not."[3]

The character portrayed by Aykroyd, Arnold Moss, is based on the famous New York talent agent Sam Cohn, and has some of the eccentricities for which Cohn was known, such as a habit of eating paper.[4]


The film's soundtrack was performed by Carly Simon and released on Qwest Records. Although the album failed to chart, the single "Love of My Life" reached No. 16 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.


This Is My Life was met with lukewarm critical responses. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval of 36% rating based on reviews from 14 critics, with an average rating of 5.5/10.[5]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it 3 out of 4.[6][7] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave it a C+.[8]

In 2020, David Sims of The Atlantic called it "the forgotten gem in Ephron’s filmmaking career".[9]

Home media[edit]

20th Century Fox released the film on DVD-R in 2012 as part of its Fox Cinema Archives line.[10]



  1. ^ "THIS IS MY LIFE (1992)". AFI Catalog. American Film Institute.
  2. ^ "This Is My Life". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ "Would-be director Nora Ephron discovers the Peters principle". Variety. May 2, 1990. p. 4.
  4. ^ "Ephron, Aykroyd Catch Cohn on Film". New York. February 17, 1992. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  5. ^ "This Is My Life (1992)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  6. ^ Roger Ebert (March 6, 1992). "This Is My Life". Chicago Sun-Times.
  7. ^ Maslin, Janet (21 February 1992). "Review/Film; Being Both Monstrous and Charming (Published 1992)". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "This Is My Life |".
  9. ^ Sims, David (21 November 2020). "20 Movie Families to Spend Your Holidays With". The Atlantic.
  10. ^ Lumenick, Lou (21 October 2012). "Ephron's family films on DVD". New York Post.

External links[edit]