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Dan in Real Life

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Reviewer's grade: B

 

Dan Burns (Steve Carell) is a widowed newspaper advice columnist, whose wife left him with three daughters, over whose safety and upbringing he obsesses. Naturally, they treat him like crap. During a family reunion, Dan meets Marie (Juliette Binoche), only to discover she's his brother's (comedian Dane Cook) new girlfriend.

 

After a few days of pushing down the small glimmer of hope he felt after meeting her, Dan starts coming apart. Essentially a chick flick in dramedy clothing, "Dan" manages to illustrate some good points about the conflict between past identity and present circumstances, work, family loyalty and personal happiness, while Carell and Binoche make goo-goo eyes at each other. The two have good chemistry, and Cook manages to not ruin everything by yelling too much. Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney provide solid voices of reason as Dan's parents without falling into the "wacky seniors" trap.

 

If you have a date who enjoys happy claptrap about true love triumphant, this movie will could help you on your way to first base. PG-13

 

"?Mike Robertson 

 

 

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