Genres: Comedy and Romance
Running Time: 98 min.
Release Date: October 26th, 2007 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some innuendo.
Directed by: Peter Hedges
JJ Rating: B+
Dan is a single parent with three daughters. His wife died and he spends a lot of time helping his daughters while neglecting himself. They go on a vacation to visit his side of the family where he ends up finding a woman of interest. Unfortunately the woman is dating his younger brother. Dan in Real Life.
I think that Steve Carell and Dane Cook did an awesome job with their characters’ relationship as brothers. I think that was the best part of the entire movie. Whenever they had a moment together it was the most touching because in most movies with families it isn’t something that is focused on---closeness. I have brothers so it was good to see that closeness between them being shown as a major part of the movie.
Carell and Juliette Binoche have a wonderful chemistry on the screen that makes their relationship more cute than naughty because she’s with his brother. She does a great job with being jealous in one scene. It’s shown on her face and less with words. It gives her a great moment to shine.
Carell beams in his dramatic moment singing with Cook. It is one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. It is very moving and shows that Carell can be serious and thoughtful without having to be silly or funny. This goes along with Cook because in his other movie Good Luck Chuck he blew chunks but this one proves he does have the ability to be more than a one trick pony actor.
The daughters were annoying excluding the younger daughter. I just felt that they could have played a more integral part of the movie instead of being so negative and useless with their whining through the entire movie. I really did not like how the writer and/or director decided that teenage love and adult love were so similar that drawing a comparison was a wise move. It’s not possible for teenage love to be close to adult love for teenagers lack experience to even have that to be remotely possible. There are exceptions to the rule but that exception to the rule did not exist in this movie with this script. If they deleted two of the daughters the movie would have been better and less whiny where it needn’t be so. If they had given them more to do other than be the parent then I would have enjoyed them more. But making kids act like kids while later being the parent makes them annoying and less worthy of being in a script where the adult was the focus not their need to be just towards the parent while unjust with themselves.
Dan in Real Life could have been much more without the whining older daughters but beside that it was a great look at family relationships with love and understanding sans the drama that infiltrates most movies. I mean unnecessary drama. If you were looking forward to seeing it you most likely will not be disappointed for it does delivers what the trailer promises and even though it falls short because of the dingbat daughters they are not in the movie that much and therefore don’t ruin the over all good brotherly feeling the movie projects rather well.