Dan in Real Life (2007) – Encore Review


“There’s rightness in our wrongness.” – Dan Burns

Number of Times Seen – 3 (28 Feb 2008, 4 Mar 2014 and 8 Jan 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – During a family reunion, a widower must try and come to terms with the fact that he has fallen in love with the girlfriend of one of his brothers.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident not long after it came out and have enjoyed it immensely every time that I’ve seen it since.

The story is told really well and the way that they manage to balance the comedic and dramatic aspects of the story helps make things feel so realistic.

Steve Carell once again shows how great an actor he is with this role because of the way that he gets to play with this character on an emotional level and we get such a wide range of expressions and responses from him that help make both his performance and this film more memorable to watch.

His chemistry with costar Juliette Binoche is superbly done and both of them also manage to have great scenes with the young children in the film.

This film has an amazing supporting cast with Dane Cook, Emily Blunt, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney, Amy Ryan and Jessica Hecht all creating very realistic and believable family members which helps make things even more poignant due to the family dynamics that they embody.

This movie finds a way to bring up some very powerful and important issues and deals with them in a somewhat lighter way which helps make things more palatable.

The family members in the story have great camaraderie with one another and I love the antics and dialogue between them because it dds so much to the realism of it all.

The best example of how this works is during the “talent show” scene where the songs and talents show how comfortable these characters all feel around one another and make us all enjoy watching this family thrive together.

Bottom Line – Great story that works so well because it gets the comedy and drama aspects balanced so perfectly. Carell once again shows how great an actor he is with this role because he gets to show a character with a wide range of emotions that are constantly changing.  He has amazing chemistry with Binoche while at the same time, they both are able to create great moments with the children in the story. The supporting cast is also great and they really make us believe the family dynamics as depicted here. The film brings up some very powerful issues and finds a way to deal with most of them in a much lighter way.  Love the antics and camaraderie between family members because it allows things to feel even more genuine. The songs and performances during the talent show work extremely well in establishing who these characters are and how comfortable they feel around one another.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Improvisation was encouraged during filming. One such case was the line: “This corn is like an angel.” Allison Pill’s (Jane) stoic expression turns into a failed attempt to hold back a grin. The outtakes show that the entire cast soon burst out laughing. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “Dan in Real Life (2007) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2007 | MovieRob

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