Dan in Real Life

Life is unfair. Life is when nothing goes your way. Life seems to always kick you in the face when you least expect it. Life is like a Steven Soderbergh film, full of long and boring stretches of film. All of these aspects put together are culminated in Dan in Real Life.

The story begins with an advice columnist, Dan (Steve Carell), and his three wonderful daughters (take wonderful with a grain of salt). Dan, being a widower, struggles to connect with his daughters on life issues, such as boys, love, and driving lessons. The irony is that Dan writes a parenting column for his local paper taking his own life experiences into the work place. Dan finds himself over matched with his strict rules for his daughters, and finds that his advice isn’t always as easy to give in real life. The family travels to Dan’s parents abode for an annual family gathering. In pops Marie (Juliette Binoche) sparking the interest of Dan after a random meeting at a book store near the parent’s home. As it turns out, this woman he falls in love with is actually the girlfriend of his younger brother, Mitch (Dane Cook). With the girl of his dreams going gaga over his brother, Dan finds himself at odds with himself, his love, and his own advice.

The film makes for a good effort, but doesn’t seem to be all there. Some pieces of the story seem to be missing. With these missing elements in the story, the film becomes long, boring, and tedious. Coming off amazing showings in Little Miss Sunshine and 40 Year Old Virgin, Steve Carell has become somewhat overrated with two unimpressive films in Evan Almighty and Dan in Real Life. Carell could have done so much more with this role but seemed to lack the commitment to bring it up another step. The lack of commitment from Carell can be attributed to the lack-luster script written by Pierce Gardner and Director Peter Hedges. The script seemed to be missing a lot of details that were essential to the success of the film. Dane Cook, usually very annoying and humorless, actually gives an nonirritating performance unlike his character in Good Luck Chuck. I found this film to be in comparison with the film, The Family Stone, the unwitty banter, the awkwardness, so awkward making the movie unbearable and ultimately embarrassing to watch at some moments. Those types of films that are so embarrassing to watch due to its irrelevant content will always get low grades in my book.

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