REVIEW: DAN IN REAL LIFE
Since his breakout
performance in "Bruce Almighty", Steve Carrell has been
waiting for that role that would make him the next Hollywood
superstar. Back in October 2007 Focus Features and Touchtone
Pictures released the film "Dan in Real life" starring Steve
Carrell and directed by Peter Hedges. "Dan In Real
Life" is a romantic comedy with a touch of drama that is
highly entertaining and provides a good message at the end.
The film was well received by audiences and managed to
collect around $52 million at the box office. This film is
by far Steve Carrell's best performance aside from the
The movie follows the story of widowed Dan (Steve Carell)
who is the father of three girls and works as a columnist in
a New Jersey newspaper giving personal advise to his
readers. Dan who is still coping with his wife's death and
dealing with the emotions of two of his teenage daughters is
set to spend an extended family reunion at his parents'
house. Things will get more complicated for Dan when while
being in a book store in his parents town, he meets Marie
(Juliette Binoche) and immediately he senses a spark. As
soon as he is back he tells his family about what happened
in the book store, but soon he finds out something that
would make his stay at his parent house a complete
Peter Hedges creates a strong case in this film . Since the
beginning Peter makes sure that the audience understand and
feels the different challenges faced by Dan. The audience is
able to identify with the situation in Dan's work and the
pressure that this process is having on him, as well as the
challenge of raising three girls for a single parent.
Especially the teenage girls. Finally Peter provides enough
scenes to show the difficulty that Dan is having coping with
the death of his wife, even four years after her death. All
these facts are strong enough to see the emotional state of
mind of Dan and to understand why he felt for his brothers'
girlfriend Marie. But when the situation between Dan and
Marie gets complicated the hope is that the
picture would not fall into the same old formula that we
have seen in previous films of this genre. Unfortunately,
Peter felt short in that aspect and follows the same
traditional mixture, making the film just another romantic
comedy and avoiding the perfect score.
Cast was superb in their
performances and Peter Hedges took the best out of these
actors. Steve Carrell delivers an outstanding performance
proving that he is becoming a well rounded actor.
Steve gives heart and human value to Dan's characters making
the film real. The surprise performance was Dane
Cook who shows sparks on some of his dramatic scenes.
Overall the film is a good and believable
drama with a spark of comedy that is cleverly
directed, well performed and highly recommended.
1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
5.1 (Dolby Digital).
Subtitles - English Spanish
French - Optional
Commentary with Writer and Director Peter Hedges
Like Family: The Making of Dan In Real Life – Go
behind the scenes with the stars for an insider’s view of
the film’s production. (14:56)
Real Life Outtakes
Probably the weakest feature of the DVD. In some of
outtakes is hard figure out what funny (3:25)
Handmade Music: Creating The Score – Singer and
songwriter Sondre Lerche offers a revealing look at how the
movie’s music was made. (9:47)
Deleted Scenes – Including optional commentary by
writer and director Peter Hedges. A total of eleven deleted
scenes all worth watching (20:06)
RATING BREAK DOWN:
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