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Life is never what it cracks up to be

  • May 21, 2008
  • by
Didn't plan to see this, but I've discovered a long time ago that movies are more enjoyable when you have no idea what it is about-in other words, unexpected surprises. Well, Dan in Real Life is one of those unexpected surprises. It was thoroughly charming and often funny, not as in laugh out loud funny but more of feel-good funny. Sometimes, comedies like this are the ones that get me more than the laugh out loud comedies (ex. Superbad). Its warmth totally won me over, like a puffy winter jacket. You don't want to wear it cause it looks ugly outside but later on, it wins you over cause it's warm inside. The movie is like that.

The man on my left is Steve Carell, who I've despised for being himself, no not really, but he does seem to play same character in all of his movies. `Dan in Real Life' follows a depressed, lonely, widowed father of three girls, Dan Burns (Steve Carell), heading to Rhode Island to see his happy family. His three daughters aren't too happy about the trip, and aren't too happy at his stomping on anything that might resemble a relationship. Upon arriving there, he meets a woman in a bookstore and the two hit it off almost instantly. What Dan doesn't know is that the mystery woman, Marie (Juliette Binoche) is the new girlfriend of Dan's brother Mitch (Dane Cook). Now Dan must be under the same roof as his new crush for a couple of days and hide his obvious adoration for her before the family finds out and the situation gets any worse. Does not help that Marie becomes the hit of the household as she perfectly blends in to the mannerisms of the folks in the family.

What appeals this movie to the average viewers is simply the brutal irony of the situation, and the terrible case of awkwardness that follows, its one of the more original dramas in terms of conflict to be released in some time. I am surprised to say he won me over in this film. His portrayal as an awkward, over-protecting widower was a spot on. I liked how calm and soft spoken he was in this film. I also thought his emotional scenes worked out very fine as well, because Carell made Dan a relatable and caring character even when it seemed he's a jerk in this film.

Aside from that, this is the definite definition of "Feel good" comedy. I liked Dan in Real Life for Real.

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More Dan in Real Life (2007) reviews
review by . March 17, 2008
Fact may be stranger than fiction, but the best fictional narratives create scenes, characters and narratives that put us in the center of a place so true and clear that our heart aches for that time and place.    "Dan" does that for me. While the leads are bankable stars like Steve Carrell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook, this is the kind of small classic that leaves space in the center for your heart and heartaches.    Dan, in real life, is a widowed advice …
review by . March 12, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
`Dan in Real Life' has a solid premise that seldom falters. It's partly a family film and partly a romantic comedy, but the results are always engaging.    Dan Burns (Steve Carell) is a newspaper columnist who gives people family advice. He's a widower of four years but is rearing his three daughters. At home he's strict to the point of obsession, so he won't let his fifteen year old date a boyfriend for fear of infatuation.     Pending is his family's yearly …
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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
Ranked #82
Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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Steve Carell’s best film performance to date can be found in the fitfully engagingDan In Real Life, where his long-suffering persona suits a character who lets his long-dormant hopes rise for a moment, only to be shot down again. Carell plays Dan Burns, a newspaper columnist who writes about family issues and relationships. As a widower with three growing girls to raise, however, the difference between Dan’s printed wisdom and his struggles with fatherhood and loneliness is often vast. He’s put to a severe test when he packs up the kids for a cabin holiday with his parents and siblings, then falls for the exotic, if elusive, Marie (Juliette Binoche) during a solo excursion to a bookstore. Stirred by a woman for the first time since his late wife, Dan is shocked to find that Marie is actually dating his brother Mitch (Dane Cook), and that she’ll be spending the vacation with him in the midst of his family. From that point, the script, co-written by director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April), pretty much becomes a parade of difficult circumstances under which both Dan and Marie have to keep their attraction to one another secret. Certain scenes work better than others, but there is an overall monotony to the movie that isn’t helped by a lack of onscreen chemistry between Binoche and Carell. Both actors are fine on their own terms, but whatever is supposed to be clicking between Marie and Dan isn’t compelling enough to make one truly care that they get...
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Genre: Comedy
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
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