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DVD Review: Dan In Real Life

DVD Review: Dan In Real Life


Steve Carrell, Dane Cook, and Juliette Binoche (“Breaking and Entering”, “Paris”) star in this story about a widower who wants to find new love. Carrell is a writer and the father of three girls. One is just discovering boys, one is too young to be dealing with boys, and one just wants to get some driving lessons under her belt. In the midst of the women at home, he wants to find someone to love, after 4 years of enduring the loss of his wife. The film takes place over one rather long weekend, of parental guidance, relatives, children, and a new woman (Binoche) Carrell meets in a bookstore, who happens to be his brothers (Cook) girlfriend.

Dan Burns (Steve Carrell, “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Over the Hedge,” “Get Smart”), a writer struggling to find new love, has three daughters and is about to be a syndicated columnist. His tight-knit family is loving and caring, but when it comes to Dan and his lack of “new” love, his family is rather annoying and wants to fix him up with someone. They believe Dan has been single for too long. But, what they don’t realize is, he is madly in love – with his brother’s new girlfriend.

As one can imagine, the main character goes through personal turmoil over the matter and it is quite amusing. However, it’s whether you can handle the quirky dry-humor that is the question. This isn’t a typical laugh out loud Carrell film like “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, it’s a comedy with feelings, with an underlying presence of drama. An example of this is most apparent towards the end of the film, when Mitch of course, finds out, rather harshly, that Dan is in love with his girlfriend.

Mitch Burns (Dane Cook, “Horton Hears a Who,” “Employee of the Month”) reminds me of Jim Carrey due to his wild and crazy antics and unforgettable odd laugh. Cook is hilarious as usual in this flick, but he has been toned down a couple of notches.

Carrell is getting better and better in his nitch of dry-humor transformed into feature films, and he does a remarkable performance as Dan. The best is yet to come from him.

Dianne Wiest plays Carrell’s mother in the film, and honestly I didn’t even recognize her. She always plays a quirky mom role, like in “The Lost Boys”, “Parenthood”, and you can’t miss her in “Edward Scissorhands”.

There are some real funny moments in this film. You can see parenting at its best and worst. It really shows that we are all wanting the same thing, at any age, just to find love. The most annoying thing of all, is having to start from scratch. But, as many people say, love will find you.

This film is worth your time, but only for the first go around.

Review by Meredith A. Iager

Grade: C+
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