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Dan In Real Life

4.3 out of 5 stars 594 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Steve Carell (THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, TV's THE OFFICE), Hollywood's leading funnyman, stars in the hilarious comedy that's bursting with charm -- a movie you'll watch again and again. Advice columnist Dan Burns (Carell) is an expert on relationships, but somehow struggles to succeed as a brother, a son and a single parent to three precocious daughters. Things get even more complicated when Dan finds out that the woman he falls in love with is actually his brother's new girlfriend. Carell is joined by a brilliant all-star supporting cast, including Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, John Mahoney and Dianne Wiest, for a heartfelt, fun-filled comedy that's "laugh-out-loud funny" -- Steve Oldfield, FOX.

Special Features

Deleted Scenes With Commentary By Writer/Director Peter Hedges|Real Life Outtakes|"Just Like Family: The Making Of DAN IN REAL LIFE"|Handmade Music: Creating The Score|Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Peter Hedges

Product Details

  • Actors: Juliette Binoche, Steve Carell, John Mahoney, Bernie McInerney, Dianne Wiest
  • Directors: Peter Hedges
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (594 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00118T632
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dan In Real Life" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on November 16, 2009
Format: DVD
I blame it solely on that horribly cheesy poster art portraying Steve Carell's head laying on a stack of flapjacks, but I wrote off `Dan in Real Life' well before actually seeing it despite the good reviews and word of mouth from friends. It was supposed to be really good, but in my head all I saw was cheesy ridiculousness pretending to be sincere. I'm really glad that I finally gave in and watched this film this past weekend.

What a treasure.

I know this may seem like an odd comparison, and I will say off the bat that the film I'm about to compare it to does have some heavier themes, but this reminded me a lot of last years independent surprise `Rachel Getting Married'. In fact, I actually think that overall, `Dan in Real Life' is the better of the two films, or at least the most complete and comfortable of the two (when have I ever shunned away from discomfort in a cinematic offering?). I had a few issues with `Rachel's construction, but here I was completely soaking up every frame. It was funny, touching, charming, emotionally resonate and beautifully structured.

In quoting the film itself, and my review's title; "Plan to be surprised".

Steve plays Dan, an advice columnist who has lost his wife to an illness and is rearing his three young daughters with difficulty. His eldest daughter just wants to be given some freedoms, his middle daughter just wants to be allowed to express her newfound love and his youngest daughter just wants a little attention. Dan, depressed yet never to the dramatically overstated and clichéd effect that many actors would have played it, is just not capable of giving them what they need.
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Anyone who actually believes that love is a many splendored may not get their money's worth from "Dan in Real Life." Here's a film that shows just how unexpected, irregular, and confusing love can be, both in terms of family and romantic interests. There's intelligence to this story that's equally humorous and heartbreaking, proving once and for all that love is difficult to receive and even more difficult maintain. At times, it's also difficult to acknowledge, especially if it's being kept a secret. The greatest difficulty of all is letting go of love, to recognize that the past is the past and to know when to move on. All this is explored in "Dan in Real Life," a smart, witty, and touching romantic comedy that doesn't lose itself to an overabundance of clichés. The formulaic elements are there, but they're presented in a new way, and they're used in a story that can actually support them. They're not used simply because we expect them to be.

The plot focuses on Dan Burns (Steve Carell), a widowed advice columnist living in New Jersey with his three daughters. They all drive to Rhode Island for an annual family reunion, and its there that Dan meets Marie (Juliette Binoche), a good-natured woman who has traveled the world and seen many sights. Their romance comes to a halt when Dan discovers that Marie is dating his brother, Mitch (Dane Cook). Dan spends the rest of the film struggling with his feelings, unwilling to let Marie go yet unable to be honest with his family, who he can't seem to connect with.

As simple as this plot sounds, a number of fascinating, thought provoking elements liven things up. One of the most interesting is the relationship between Dan and his daughters.
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7 Comments 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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A tired formula gets a shot in the arm by affecting performances in this quaint little film that will touch you.

I have grown to really appreciate the acting talent of Steve Carell who really can carry a film. Carell darn near stole the show in Bruce Almighty to the point where the funniest segments were cut from the theatrical release because he upstaged Carrey so much, but those scenes where fortunately made available on the DVD release. Carell was again the saving grace of Evan Almighty and The 40-Year-Old Virgin in which both most likely would have died unnoticed had it not been for his sincere performances. This comedian definitely knows how to act. Carell reminds me of the legendary Dick Van Dyke when he had serious roles or moments and Bob Newhart's dry comedic delivery. It all just seems so effortless on Carell's part.

In another affecting performance we have Carell as a widower raising three daughters alone and giving his tidbits of wisdom on doing so in a local column titled "Dan in Real Life." Even though his wife has died four years ago, he has yet to really move beyond that in the way of a relationship. He has focused all his attention of his children and while that is admirable, a parent is still allowed to look out for himself too. He has not and the annual fall trip to his parents' cabin plays out all too realistically with everyone pushing him to find someone and he does.
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