Thursday, November 08, 2007

Review: Dan in Real Life

Last weekend, I saw the new romantic comedy "Dan in Real Life," starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche. In the film, Dan is an advice columnist, as well as the widowed father of three girls. It's the weekend of his family's annual reunion at their summer cottage in Rhode Island (it was actually filmed in and around Jamestown - I recognized a few shots, like the Pt Judith Lighthouse). Escaping from the family for a few hours, Dan encounters Marie in the local bookstore and is instantly smitten. After sharing coffee and confidences, they go their separate ways - but do they? You see, Marie is in fact headed to Dan's family home - she is his brother's new girlfriend! The rest of the film revolves around Dan trying to suppress his feelings, without success. Further complicating things are his relationship with his daughters - full of conflict, of course.

The film is well cast. I was especially impressed with the three young actresses playing Dan's daughters - not a hint of precociousness, and lots of talent displayed. Carell is understated - there are a couple of scenes where he goes a little over the top, but they are quickly forgotten by his later sweet moments. Binoche hasn't much to do except react to Carell, but that's fine. I was even able to tolerate Dane "there's only one OCTOBER" Cook as the brother.

The script was really strong. Some really great lines:

Youngest daughter to Dan - "You're a great father, but sometimes you're not a very good Dad"

Middle daughter's boyfriend - "Love isn't a feeling. It's an ability."

And middle daughter to Dan after he sends said boyfriend packing - "You are a murderer of love"

A sweet, lovely little film. Not a laugh-out-loud comedy, one filled with smiles of recognition. The relationships between all the characters just feel right - between parents and children, between siblings. And I have to admit, I not only had some tears at the end, I did hiccup a few times too!



Blogger Redbeard76 said...

This one is also on my list. Thanks for the review!

2:36 PM  

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