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Dan in Real Life
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Reviews & Ratings for
Dan in Real Life More at IMDbPro »

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180 out of 235 people found the following review useful:

A Delightful Treat for Adults

9/10
Author: chere43 from United States
1 November 2007

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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162 out of 253 people found the following review useful:

Sweet, Funny, Touching...Just About Perfect

10/10
Author: writtenbypatrick from El Cajon, California
4 October 2007

I got to see this film at a preview and was dazzled by it. It's not the typical romantic comedy. I can't remember laughing so hard at a film and yet being moved by it. The laughs aren't gags here--they're observations, laughs of recognition, little shocks of "Oh, my God, I thought I was the only one who felt that way!" I won't give away the plot, which is more than just "Guy falls in love with his brother's girlfriend." The whole family plays a part in the relationship here. Probably the best blend of laughter and warmth since "While You Were Sleeping."

Steve Carell goes much deeper than he's gone before, and for the first time I really liked him. The cast is amazing, a list of veteran theater actors whom I've loved in other roles, but they blend to make a convincing family. Dianne Wiest is lovely as the mother, Juliette Binoche is luminous and hilarious (who knew she was funny?), and even the reviled Dane Cook gives a warm, quiet, touching performance. The Sondre Lerche soundtrack is a wonderful addition, and I'll buy the CD the second it's available.

Don't miss this one.

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160 out of 255 people found the following review useful:

A One-of-A-Kind Movie Experience

10/10
Author: Chalula88 from United States
21 October 2007

I was lucky enough to see this at a pre-screening last night (Oct. 20) and I was incredibly surprised by the wonderful plot and genuinely heart felt acting.

While the plot is not particularly complicated or exceptionally new, the story unfolds in a way that feels fresh, unique, and distinctly "indy" in style. It isn't something that can easily be compared to films of the past, it's a unique take on a sort of classic middle-aged depressed love story.

I was particularly struck by the casting of the film. Down to every last extra in the family, it was a beautiful and talented cast. The three daughters did a wonderful job, the talent was evenly dispersed between them and none of them "out-shone" the other two.

It was truly a delightful film, appropriate for all ages and laugh out loud funny while also being truly touching and heart warming. It was a wonderful break from the sex jokes and nudity of recent films.

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55 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Not massively original, but it is entertaining

7/10
Author: seawalker from Birmingham, England
15 January 2008

Steve Carell plays Dan Burns, newspaper agony uncle and dedicated single father to three girls. At a large family homecoming Dan meets his perfect woman, only to find out that she is in a relationship with his brother.

What's a man to do?

I rather liked "Dan In Real Life", but I would imagine the success or otherwise of this flick is going to be down to whether you are willing to accept Steve Carell playing a part relatively straight and restrained, rather than going through the broad comedy moves that have made him so successful. If you cannot accept it, fear not, "Get Smart" will be along later in the year, but for the record I thought he was very good.

"Dan In Real Life" starts off like your typical, incidentally amusing, family drama, but it gets funnier and funnier as it goes along and Carell's frustration with his situation grows. It's not massively original (but if you only saw movies with original ideas, cinematic pickings would be very scarce indeed, wouldn't they?), but "Dan In Real Life" is entertaining, and a good cast (who wouldn't fall in love at first sight with the luminous Juliette Binoche?) make the most of an insightful enough script that contains many a ponder on the meaning and passion of love.

I hope that Steve Carell pushes himself and does something as interesting again.

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88 out of 147 people found the following review useful:

Dan IS real life

8/10
Author: Joseph Belanger (joseph.belanger@gmail.com) from Montreal
27 October 2007

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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92 out of 167 people found the following review useful:

Something amiss at the IMDb

1/10
Author: The Sheen from United States
15 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

-might contain spoilers... but believe me, this movie spoils itself from start to finish.

I walked into this movie with high expectations. It was my own fault. I had put too much stock in Steve Carell's record to date. 40 year old virgin... Little Miss Sunshine... The Office. And I also made the mistake of coming to IMDb and seeing a 7.5 user rating before going to the movie. It's always been a very good predictor in the past, but something is definitely off lately. The last time I felt this embarrassed and in this much pain in a movie theater was watching "Blue Steel" in 1990.

This flick fumbled from start to finish. The script was flunky material. Awful writing all around. "Murderer of love"? "Love is an ability"? Whoever wrote this crap suffered from the same affliction that struck American Beauty's writer(s)... trying waaaaayyyyyy too hard. The entire flick was peppered with Three's Company'ish moments like the awful and contrived shower scene. Or the pointless/confusing aerobics scene. Or the awful laundry room scene. Right when you think something serious and/or real is about to happen, they toss in one of these terrible moments. And it happens over and over and over again.

And what's with Carell's character? The guy meets some lame broad at a book store and is suddenly head over heels in love? Let's face it. Their conversation sucked. They both should have said their goodbye's after a few minutes. Pay close attention to the initial conversation when you have the misfortune of watching this movie.... Carell's character is trying to say something which is absolutely random and un-funny (I think the exact line was "this one time when I was a kid"... that's it. seriously), but both are laughing so hard that coffee is about to spout out of their noses. The actors themselves looked like they were in pain, wondering why they're being directed to do what they're doing.

Back to the IMDb thing... you guys need to figure out a way to keep a movie's promotional team off this site. I know it's impossible, but it's painfully obvious the first 20 or so ratings/reviews were either posted by 12 year olds, or by flunky's hired by the studio. Check out The Family Stone's rating... if that's a mid 5, then this absolutely has got to be a 2... and that's pushing it.

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36 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

I liked it. I can't say much more than that

8/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
5 January 2008

I'm not a Steve Carell fan however I like this movie about Dan, an advice columnist, who goes to his parents house for a stay with his kids and ends up falling in love with his brother's girlfriend. Its a story thats been told before, but not like this. There are simply too many little bits that make the film better than it should be. The cast is wonderful, and even if Carell is not my cup of tea, he is quite good as the widower who's suppose to know everything but finds that knowing is different than feeling and that sometimes life surprises you. At times witty and wise in the way that an annoying Hallmark card can be, the film still some how manages to grow on you and be something more than a run of the mill film. Worth a look see

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54 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

"Life...love and the pursuit of happiness"

10/10
Author: screenwriter-14 from United States
28 October 2007

I was drawn to DAN IN REAL LIFE from the excellent reviews and the thirst for a Dramedy that was well written-thank you Peter Hedges-and because when Steve Carell stars in the film, you know an audience is going to find like in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, a performance that is very entertaining and rewarding. DAN IN REAL LIFE delivered that promise.

The film is so real to many families world wide that have lost a member and yet have gone on with their lives in search of something that will give them the magic back before their loss. With Steve Carell and the wondrous Juliette Binoche, their relationship was so beautifully done and written that their scenes were so real to their characters and to their journeys. The cast, sets and story made DAN IN REAL LIFE one to remember as we head into the holidays ahead.

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36 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Dan in Irony

10/10
Author: misterembryo from United States
27 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a scene in Dan in Real Life where the family is competing to see which sex can finish the crossword puzzle first. The answer to one of the clues is Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This is exactly the case for Dan Burns (Steve Carell, the Office) a columnist for the local newspaper. Dan is an expert at giving advice for everyday life, yet he comes to realize that things aren't so picture perfect in his own. Dan in Real Life is amazing at capturing these ironies of everyday life and is successful at embracing the comedy, tragedy, and beauty of them all. Besides that this movie is pretty damn hilarious.

The death of his wife forces Dan to raise his three daughters all on his own... each daughter in their own pivotal stages in life: the first one anxious to try out her drivers license, the middle one well into her teenage angst phase, and the youngest one drifting away from early childhood. Things take a turn for Dan when he goes to Rhode Island for a family reunion and stumbles across an intriguing woman in a bookstore.

Her name is Marie (Juliette Binoche, Chocolat) and she is looking for a book to help her avoid awkward situations... which is precisely whats in store when they get thrown into the Burns Family household.

If you've seen Steve Carell in The Office or Little Miss Sunshine, you'd know that he is incomparable with comedic timing and a tremendously dynamic actor as well. Steve Carell is awesome at capturing all the emotions that come with family life: the frustration and sincere compassion. The family as well as the house itself provides a warm environment for the movie that contrasts the inner turmoil that builds throughout the movie and finally bursts out in a pretty suspenseful climax. The movie only falls short in some of the predictable outcomes, yet at the same time life is made up of both irony and predictability: which is an irony within itself.

Dan in Real Life is definitely worth seeing, for the sole enjoyment of watching all the funny subtleties we often miss in everyday life, and I'll most likely enjoy it a second time, or even a third. Just "put it on my tab."

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

It could be Dan in real life

10/10
Author: schmidteren from Denmark
9 March 2008

This is my review of Dan in real life which i've just seen.

The movie was in my eyes very realistic, and I think that is a big plus. I can't recollect that I've seen a movie where I felt that what I saw was real like I did with this movie. The acting was great, Steve Carrol gives the character so much, the awkwardness that he brings to the person in some of the scenes are just great, you feel like it was happening to you, and it probably could, and we are all familiar with the situations which are seen in this movie.

The movie also had some great Hilarious moments. The movie was not made to be all fun, it had a good script, a nice well written story, where you at no time where confused about anything. The plot was straight out, and there was no time you where like oh my god what is happening now. In my opinion was the movie excellent :D:) And I loved the last scene, where he finish it with the best quote, and a really helpful one, which I would try thinking of from time to time in my life, a very good advice. And I think that that the movie had a nice message to send out to everyone, and it did it in a very good and well done way. Last words. I think that especially the connection between Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche was just fantastic. The emotions between them where very realistic and sweet. I rate this movie 9 out of 10, VERY close to a 10

:) (:

Edit: I bumped it up to 10 after rewatching several times. It's a movie I really like coming back to, so I think it deserves a 10.

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