In “Dan in Real Life,” Steve Carell plays Dan Burns, a lonely, widowed father of three girls (Alison Pill, Brittany Robertson and Marlene Lawston). Although this isn’t his typical funny-guy role, he still manages to pull it off. Ironically, he’s an advice columnist, who keeps getting relationship advice from his parents and siblings. He struggles with moving on after his wife’s death and with being the type of parent his children want him to be.
Dan and his three daughters head to Rhode Island for a family reunion. While in New England, he ventures to a bookstore and finds himself chatting to a woman named Marie (Juliette Binoche,) whom he becomes smitten with. He gets her number before she leaves, but she warns him that she is in a new relationship. Little does Dan know the that new relationship is with his younger brother Mitch (Dane Cook.) So you can imagine his surprise when he gets back to his parents’ house and she is there. The rest of the movie he struggles with his feelings for her and his ability to be a good dad to his three daughters.
You might be thinking that this movie is a ball of laughs since comedic actors Steve Carell and Dane Cook are in it, but it really isn’t the type of comedy one might expect. The movie is stuck somewhere between a comedy and a drama.
While the actors are believable, the storyline isn’t. An advice columnist that falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend is a little bit of a stretch. Not to mention the Brady Bunch-like events, such as when the family does aerobics together. Only in the movies would that happen, not in real life. The only thing real about it is the emotions of the characters. Carell’s talent combined with Binoche’s charisma make for a explosive combination.
While this movie won’t be a family classic, it is lighthearted and comedic enough to make you like it.
I would recommend seeing this if it’s something light you are looking for, but don’t expect it to be anything like “real life.”