Movie Review - Dan in Real Life
Starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook.
Rated PG-13 for some innuendo. Running Time of 1 Hour 39 minutes.
Dan in Real Life is the story of Dan, a newspaper columnist with three daughters. His wife passed away and Dan is doing his best to get along. It's time for Christmas and the family is packing up to go to the grandparents where the whole family meets for Christmas. It is here that Dan meets a woman who turns out to be dating his brother. Dan secretly wants to be with her and she begins to want to be with him. Dan's brother is oblivious to this fact until the very end.
This is a romantic comedy grounded with a great cast who bring the rather luckluster script to life. Steve Carell is always entertaining and walks a very smooth line of comedy and drama throughout the entire movie. This delicate balance that he portrays is really what makes the movie tick. Juliette Binoche plays the love interest and is very convincing of her plight without just coming out and saying it. This is key as she is usually saying and doing things that might not be exactly what she wanted to do or say. I was also pleasantly surprised with Dane Cook, who has shown some acting talent in the past, but mainly got by on charm. He was good in this flick regardless of charm and shows some glimmer of better things to come.
Overall, the talent is what moves this film and it should be as this is your basic staying at the grandparents flick. There is no action, no big settings, no effects, just people talking and interacting. Sometimes its nice to see a straight forward film, but this one could use a little action. There are parts that don't have aggravated interaction between Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook and they tend to drag until the cast gets back together and start making it interesting again.
I will admit that I wasn't thrilled to watch this flick, but having seen it, I'm glad I did. I enjoyed its simplicity and the laughs were genuine. The film lets the stars stretch their acting ability through a fairly straight forward plot and everything is moved along at a brisk pace.
Dan in Real Life is playing at Cinema 3 in McCook. Check out www.fridleytheatres.com for more info and showtimes.