Dan In Real Life (PG)



Comedy (2007)
98mins US

Starring: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Dianne Wiest
Director: Peter Hedges
Writer(s): Pierce Gardner, Peter Hedges
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Professionally, newspaper advice columnist Dan Burns is extremely content. His column is about to be picked up for syndication and his readers avidly devour his every word on raising a balanced, functional family. Personally, Dan's life is a mess. Four years after the death of his wife, he won't look at another woman and he is failing to connect with his three daughters. During the annual family reunion, Dan meets beautiful stranger Marie and the connection is immediate. They exchange numbers and Dan returns home in a state of exultation... only to find that Marie is the girlfriend of his brother Mitch, and has been invited to the reunion too.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
Dan In Real Life

Single, love-starved characters in Hollywood romantic comedies should count their blessings...

STEVE CARELL and JULIETTE BINOCHE in Dan in Real Life. Icon FilmDespite all the misfortunes and humiliations that litter the path to enduring happiness - catching extremities in a zip, falling for their comatose fiance's brother - these desperate singletons invariably snag Mr or Ms Right by the end credits, and seal the deal with a polished one-liner. And when they wake the next morning and look in the mirror, it's Kate Hudson or Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock or Hugh Grant staring dreamily back at them. Life certainly sucks.

Dan In Real Life follows the well-worn template but sketches its quirky characters with such affection, and delivers each set-piece with such wit and panache, that it's hard to resist Peter Hedges' tender and bittersweet confection, his follow-up to familial drama Pieces Of April. Most importantly, the unlikely central pairing of Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine) and Juliette Binoche generates plentiful sparks of sexual chemistry that still smolder after the film's comic centre-piece: a delirious and farcical shower sequence.

WILLA CUTHRELL, C.J. ADAMS, STEVE CARELL, MARLENE LAWSTON in Dan in Real Life. Icon FilmNewspaper advice columnist Dan Burns (Carell) is about to be picked up for syndication. His readers avidly devour every well-chosen word about the pressures of raising a balanced family. Sadly, Dan doesn't always practice what he preaches. Four years after the death of his wife, he still won't glance at another woman and he is struggling to connect with his three daughters: 17-year-old Jane (Alison Pill) who is desperate for more driving lessons, 15-year-old Cara (Brittany Robertson) who is convinced she has fallen in love after just three days, and eight-year-old Lilly (Marlene Lawston). Tensions flare during the annual family reunion, organised by Dan's parents (John Mahoney, Dianne Wiest).

STEVE CARELL and JULIETTE BINOCHE in Dan in Real Life. Icon FilmA visit to a local store to pick up the morning newspapers is a perfect excuse for Dan to take a much-needed time out, only for the columnist to meet beautiful stranger Marie (Binoche). The attraction is immediate. Dan returns home in a state of exultation... only to discover that Marie is the girlfriend of his brother Mitch (Dane Cook), and has been invited for the weekend too.

Dan In Real life has charm and snappy dialogue in abundance, and a winning central performance from Carell as the widower, who desperately tries to ignore his true feelings for Marie for the sake of harmony. Denial only makes Dan frustrated and irritable, so he tries a different tack: fanning the flames of jealousy by going on a blind date with family friend Ruthie 'Pigface' Draper (Emily Blunt). The resultant bar room dance-off is priceless.

STEVE CARELL and EMILY BLUNT in Dan in Real Life. Icon FilmBinoche is an excellent foil, with sterling support from the ensemble cast, not least the youngsters who bring emotional depth and vulnerability to their disillusioned daughters who denounce Dan as "a murderer of love". By turns hysterical and deeply touching, Hedges's film breathes fresh air into a familiar slice of dysfunctional life.

- Sam Cannon


London Cinemas

From Friday 8th June
To Thursday 14th June

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.
From Friday 15th June
To Thursday 21st June

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 8th June
To Thursday 14th June

- Hexham, Queen's Hall Arts Centre
From Friday 15th June
To Thursday 21st June

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index