Dan in Real Life
CJSF volunteer, Anna Santiago caught a sneak peak of the film 'Dan in Real Life' in late October.
At first, Steve Carell’s new comedy, Dan In Real Life, which opened in wide release October 26, appears to be yet another addition to the long list of romantic comedies. There is indeed nothing new in its plot: boy-meets-girl, odds are stacked up against the lovers but they eventually live happily ever. However, supporting Carell and Juliette Binoche is the Burns family, whose interaction with each other is what makes this film worth watching.
Four years after his wife’s death, Dan is unable to move on with his life, focusing most of his energy and attention on being the overprotective father of three. That is until he meets Marie (Binoche). It’s the classic tale of love at first sight. Like any other love stories, conflicts ensue and the lovers must overcome them in order to find their happily ever after.
If not for the comedic performances of Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney as Dan’s parents; Allison Pill, Brittany Robinson and Marlene Lawson as Dan’s growing daughters; and Emily Blunt as Ruthie “pig face” Draper; Dan In Real Life would in line with most other romantic comedies. Instead, Dan In Real Life turns out to be more than just our happily ever after saga. The film somehow transitions back and forth from being a romantic comedy to a family dramedy, complete with parent-child and sibling conflicts.
Dan In Real Life may not be completely delightful, but it is able to bring out the complex elements of family, love and loss through Carell’s character. The film has its funny moments, its exaggerated scenes and its heart-warming dialogues, but most of all it offers some valuable lessons on forgiving one’s past, learning to move on and finding unconditional love from family.