Dan in Real Life

Dan In Real Life (6/10)

I had really wanted to see this in the theaters two years ago. It looked like it would be great. But it’s disappointingly mediocre. It gets most of its 6/10 mostly because I found the romantic leads Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche to be so appealing. I can overlook what I found aggravating about this film, because I didn’t mind spending 84 minutes (plots lots of TBS commercials for George Lopez) for the Steve Carell and Juiliette Binoche characters to get together.

My main point of discomfort was that I just don’t get these big families that get together at the holidays at mom and dad’s place. This felt like The Family Stone without the cancer. (Sorry for the spoiler. It’s not that great of a movie, if you haven’t seen it). Presumably, dad and mom have done very well for themselves, and they’re so beloved as to get all the kids and grandkids for frequent grand get-togethers.

Are there really these big families like this that all go to the parents’ enormous beach-house for the holidays? Where Dianne Wiest (who I like in anything she’s in) rings a cowbell to call the brood in for lunch to conclude a light-hearted touch-football game?

Dane Cook, playing one of the multiple siblings of Steve Carell’s lead, tried really hard not to be Dane Cook, but I kept seeing Dane Cook, and thinking, “A-HOLE”. (And by the very end, he is 100% Dane Cook.).

I should throw in some stars for appearances by the likes of Diane Weist, John Mahoney, and Alison Pill, who also, coincidentally, all starred in the great HBO series In Session. (I’m thinking it’s not a coincidence..there must be some common producer or something).

That said, Weist and Mahoney are relegated to making sandwiches in every other scene (and so I won’t add any stars for their appearances).

TBS followed this film with a showing of the crapfest Bewitched. A film starring Nicole Kidman, Michael Caine, and Shirley MacLaine should warrant 5 stars even if the script was a reading of Going Rouge, but the star, unfortunately, is Will Ferrell, and that combined with a horrible Ephron script makes it worthy of about a 2/10.


2 thoughts on “Dan in Real Life

  1. Yeah, I know. I’ve kinda seem them, too, as the wayward friend who winds up there. I guess I prefer my romantic comedies to feature broken families. See Dianne Weist in Parenthood, John Mahoney in Say Anything

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