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Dan in Real Life (2007)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 79,125 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 261 user | 221 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A widower finds out the woman he fell in love with is his brother's girlfriend.

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Title: Dan in Real Life (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dan
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Cara (as Brittany Robertson)
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Amy
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Henry Miller ...
Ella Miller ...
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Elliot (as Cameron 'CJ' Adams)
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Storyline

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 Marisa_Gabriella

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something's happening to Dan. It's confusing. It's awkward. It's family.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Como la vida misma  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£603,860 (UK) (11 January 2008)

Gross:

$47,636,541 (USA) (8 February 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (as dts)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Improvisation was encouraged during filming. One such case was the line: "This corn is like an angel." You can see Allison Pill's (Jane) stoic expression turn into a failed attempt to hold back a grin. The outtakes show that the entire cast soon burst out laughing. See more »

Goofs

At the dinner table, when the topic of forgiving pasts comes up, the boom mic falls into the shot. John Mahoney even breaks character to look up at it. See more »

Quotes

Policeman: This is going to cost you
[writes a traffic ticket]
Dan Burns: Put it on my tab.
Policeman: What was that?
Dan Burns: [Aside] Put it on my tab.
See more »


Soundtracks

Airport Taxi Reception
(2007)
Written by Sondre Lerche
Performed by Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down
Courtesy of Astralwerks
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dan IS real life

Marie: You are smooth. Dan: No, I'm not smooth. I'm Dan.

If you're anything like me, smooth and single do not go together. You see someone you like, rare enough as that can be, and you want to say something but you don't. Or maybe you do say something but it ends up being perhaps the least intelligent thing you've ever said in your life. More often then not though, you stare from afar and admire without having to deal with taking that which most agree is the only way to get anywhere in life – a risk. You can't blame a guy for being a little frightened though. Maybe he's been burned hard before or maybe he's trying to focus all his energy on his career. There are reasons, some valid, some not, and all of them can be interpreted as excuses rather than reason. You tell yourself you don't need it or it isn't the right time for you but you still wish it were happening. Any way you break it down, it's not easy. Sound familiar? If you thought yes even just a little, then DAN IN REAL LIFE, the new comedy from director Peter Hedges, is a must-see. It will reach inside of you and somehow manage to both break and warm your heart all at once.

The Dan from the title is Dan Burns (Steve Carell), an advice columnist who is admired for his insight into living a balanced, fulfilling and morally uplifting life. Four years or so before the film opens on Dan waking up to his day, he lost his wife and love of his life. After that tragedy, Dan was left to raise their three daughters alone. Between that and focusing on his career, finding love again was not one of Dan's priorities. And so he became more functional than feeling. Removed from the power of intimacy, Dan no longer knows what it means to be that close to someone and has resigned himself to never knowing that again. That is, until he meets Marie (Juliette Binoche) in a book and tackle shop in Connecticut on a quiet morning. They're interaction is casual, comfortable and it catches both of them off guard. There is only one problem really. She is already seeing someone. Unfortunately for all involved, that someone is Dan's brother, Mitch (Dane Cook). His entire family has come up to their parents' country home for their yearly visit and Dan must now spend the weekend pining and yearning for the fleeting feeling he had with Marie that morning. It only lasted an hour or so but it only took that long to awaken Dan's heart from its coma.

With so many family members to deal with (Jack Mahoney and Dianne Wiest are at the helm), DAN IN REAL LIFE does drift away from its grander purpose from time to time. While the cyclone of kids and parents and aunts and uncles makes for trying times for Dan, Hedges also uses it unnecessarily as a means to distract, with the presumption that it would ultimately make for a more complete film. Luckily, Hedges has got Carell to carry the heavy burden. It is a pleasure to watch Steve Carell come into his own more and more with every picture he makes (despite the occasional EVAN ALMIGHTY-sized misstep). He is charismatic, charming and obviously a sharp humorist. As Dan, he is also self-deprecating, awkward and scared. Carell is the rare comedian who pushes himself to find character in his roles rather than rely solely on his comedic instincts and established persona. Perhaps more importantly, he is entirely relatable as Dan. Whether he's flopping down on the cot in the laundry room where he is subjected to sleep as the only single adult at this reunion or fidgeting around the kitchen, unable to stan d still in his anxiety, Dan is every guy who has even been unsure of himself and felt alone in the crowd. Carell gives Dan so much heart that he becomes the heart of the film itself at the same time.

I wondered after seeing the film if I enjoyed the it as much as I did, despite its slight shortcomings (Juliette Binoche – I know you might like to lighten up every now and then but I don't recommend it unless there is chocolate involved), because of where I am in my life. Would someone who has found that someone else derive as much meaning and comfort from this film? I can't say. What I can say, as someone who knows what it means to be lonely, DAN IN REAL LIFE knows what it means to be surprised by life and love and how these moments and people need to be appreciated and cherished. It also knows that anyone who might be feeling lonely on any given day or for months at a time needs to be reminded that surprises still happen.


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Dan's 'dilemma' - should not have been that big a deal! LadyConsumer
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Complete + Utter Garbage Of The Highest Order. Roger_the_Dodger
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Political Correctness cbatower
Steve Carell should do serious films as well ravikant21490
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