As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
When he finds out that his work superiors host a dinner celebrating the idiocy of their guests, a rising executive questions it when he's invited, just as he befriends a man who would be the perfect guest.
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
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
Greetings again from the darkness. Director Peter Hedges' best work is "Pieces of April", a very edgy family drama/comedy that I have recommended to many. Although "Dan in Real Life" doesn't possess anywhere near the edginess of that film, it is an entertaining film with some clever moments ... though it is much more mainstream (by design).
Steve Carell stars as Dan, a widower father of three daughters. Just in case you have forgotten, the movie does remind you just how wicked teenage girls can be ... even the good ones. The film centers around the annual family reunion at the parents' (Dianne Weist, John Mahoney) beautiful summer house in Rhode Island. Although the film borrows material from many large family comdrams, there are a handful of moments and lines that prevent it from being a total remix. Odd casting does help.
Dane Cook and Emily Blunt have supporting roles that are both very well done. Personally I find it difficult to ever really like Dane Cook, but he controls his freak pretty well here. Ms. Blunt is a budding star (see "The Devil Wears Prada") and sooner or later, Hollywood will find the right roles to showcase her talents. By far the most outside the box casting occurs with Juliette Binoche in the pivotal role of Marie. Not to give too much away, but she does give new meaning to brotherly love.
Carell is fine and at least isn't falling into the one-trick pony career of Ben Stiller. He does have some range as an actor and hopefully will mix in a few dramas with the slapstick. Wouldn't call this anything close to a classic, but it is a movie families (not the youngsters) can watch together and be entertained ... nothing wrong with that.
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