Single father Dan Burns dedicates his life to his children, but one day he meets Marie at a bookstore. They get to know each other, but then Dan finds out that Marie is actually dating his brother, Mitch. Written by
The most satisfying element about "Dan in Real Life" is that the relationship between Dan (Steve Carell) and Marie (Juliette Binoche) makes sense and is beautifully realistic. The casting of Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche as Dan's love interest was a superb decision; she is exceptionally talented, intelligent, naturally attractive and, thank goodness, appropriately aged for the part! Had this movie been made with Jessica Alba or Scarlett Johansson, it would have been a disaster.
Another wonderful aspect about "Dan in Real Life" is that it is a perfect film for adults who are interested in a mature comedy that leaves out the three pillars of the "frat pack" formula: dumb chicks, chauvinistic guys, and sleazy jokes. "Dan in Real Life" is witty and has fun, intelligent laughs throughout. Whereas other comedies incorporate or are almost entirely based on jokes that shock the audience into laughing, the jokes from "Dan in Real Life" are more natural and clever, and involve some thinking on the part of the audience.
My only problem with "Dan in Real Life" is that the rebellious, middle daughter is played too outrageously by actress Brittany Robertson. It's difficult to say if this was a personal choice on her part or a choice by the director. Either way, her character is unrealistic and annoying. But, this is only a minor flaw in the film, and does not take away from the story as a whole.
All in all, "Dan in Real Life" is a great film, a fantastic escape from the redundancy of offensive and dumbed-down comedies. The quality of the writing, directing, acting, and (especially) cinematography is excellent. It is simply a beautiful, light-hearted comedy.
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