Dan In Real Life- Movie Review

It was a very lazy afternoon when I “accidentally” saw this movie. Reading a few chapters of Photoshop while channel surfing, the timer at the upper left hand of the screen said 2:03, blinking steadily counting down before the movie started.  Only two minutes more! Great. Finally I could start it right from the beginning! I was very curious about Steve Carrell doing a family drama on screen, and I was NOT disappointed.

He plays Dan Burns, a newspaper columnist who writes an advice column on a local paper, Dan in Real Life, hence the title of this movie.  He answers questions about love, family, values and even morals to “desperate” readers. Though his character in real life is the very opposite of his newspaper persona, things get a little interesting.

The movie centers around his character, a widower with three daughters, on an annual family reunion of sorts in Rhode Island. The morning of his arrival, Dan’s mother advises him to give his daughters some space by going out to town. He visits a small bookstore and was mistaken by Marie (his brother’s girlfriend!), as an employee. Marie quickly gets smitten with Dan’s antics and sharp wit. Promising to see each other soon, she told him she already has a boyfriend right before leaving. Dan returns to his parents’ house and happily announces he has met someone new, only to find that Marie is there, her boyfriend being Dan’s brother, Mitch.

Steve’s character was full of surprises, very funny without even trying and very human. The family sequences was very real and heart-warming. (I just found out right before writing this that it was based on the writer’s family experiences.) He was very smart, awkward at times and very charming, but this doesn’t make him popular among his family and was even made to sleep on the worst bed on the house!  (Sounds familiar?) You could really feel the family atmosphere whenever the family cast was having discussions over dinner and even while having fun showing off their talents. I really loved the way the cast was very natural and the director made sure that it stayed thiat way throughout the movie. Though the sheer number of family members sometimes made the movie go astray during several occasions, it was no biggie since Dan always found himself in very interesting, amusing even, but sometimes too-familiar-situations everyone could relate to.

The movie will teach you a thing or two about family relationships, love and how to handle conflicting personal dilemmas. It not as serious as it sounds though, Steve made sure that this won’t be dull and you’d laugh at the right moments.


A great movie from Peter hedges that will surely make you smile, reminisce about fond family memories and remember what’s really important above all else. Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche was spectacular in this movie, making you forget that this was the same  Evan from Evan Almighty, and the Academy Award Winner for The English Patient. This movie was made well over two years ago, I believe that this movie would be timeless in everyone’s memories.

Make sure that you watch it with loved ones and watch it from the beginning! ‘Till next time!

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