Dan in Real Life takes the beaten path of Romantic Comedies and leaves behind a fantastic template for all to follow. Steve Carell leads the presentation with emotion, charisma, and his natural yet awkward charm. As an appraised advice columnist Dan Burns (Carell) turns a blind eye towards his own moral spiels and falls for a spoken-for woman. Their encounter is chalked full of uncomfortable, unbearable, and painful-to-watch moments. Yet you’re constantly being overwhelmed with that familiar cute/weird flirting that only a good comedic love story can bring. Though this movie will shake up some new feelings, it’s not going to be anything you haven’t seen before.
Director Peter Hedges does take you from scene to scene with very fun and artistic insight, but it nearly stops at that. Originality goes a long way, and this is one of the only criteria he doesn’t meet. Although I find music can be distracting when it’s used as a main staple throughout a film, I feel it only added to the sense of vulnerability and lovability the audience should be feeling. It acted as a catalyst rather than a crutch. You get to watch as our characters’ life plans are disassembled twice as easily as they were thought up.
While watching this film I couldn’t help but realize how franticly the story seemed to be developing. I could only think of how honest the people who brought us this cinema were being. They don’t just give us a sappy scenario with strikingly gorgeous people who were meant to be together. Instead we received a little more. Our protagonists show weakness. They don’t hide the fact that our lives are dictated my circumstances. They embrace this age old rule of life and struggle as we watch them try to circumvent their sometimes undesirable environments.
On a more critical note, there isn’t much being done here that hasn’t been attempted an absurd amount of times. This familiar premise might repel many potential viewers but it really there isn’t much being done here that hasn’t been attempted an absurd amount of times. This familiar premise might repel many potential viewers but it really shouldn’t. The reason being that although Dan in Real Life didn’t brave the shouldn’t. The reason being that although Dan in Real Life didn’t brave the treacherous unknown and try something new, it did deliver in almost every other way. Should you be wanting the comfort of a laugh out loud romance flick there’s no reason why you should steer away from this one.