Dan in Real Life: A Review

Dan In Real Life is a movie about a newspaper columnist Dan Burns. Burns, a widower with three daughters, spend the weekend with the whole extended family not knowing that they are in for a new outlook, a new chance and an old feeling getting a new spot in the family.

I had doubts acquiring this movie as the last two Steve Carell movies I saw weren’t really that satisfying.

However, given that The Office star is one of the funniest actors in TV today, I had to give him another chance.

Going into the movie, a familiar feeling sweeps in as a cool, calm background music welcomes the viewers. Its soundtrack echoes that of what music did to the appreciation people gave Juno (2007), making developments and transitions in the plot smooth and fresh without making the story boring or lacking in power. It also provides some sort of balancing system as to what the viewers should expect from the movie considering the fact that most people probably went to see more of Carell’s antics and dangerously-close-to slapstick style of comedy.

The plot, focusing on the personal then panning out to include the whole family wasn’t really exceptional but the way the cast portrayed their respective roles made the story as comfortable as it could be for the viewers that you wouldn’t mind seeing it again. This whole peek into the life of a traditional American family spending time together amidst their differences is something that is true-to-life and yet often taken for granted.

Steve Carell delivers a very powerful performance as you can feel the honest emotions of a man going through the hardships of losing his wife and raising three daughters all by himself. This performance reaches its peak as Carell, with the request of his screen brother Mitch (played by Dane Cook, Good Luck Chuck), picks up the guitar and perform at the family talent show. The last lines of the song delivered by Carell is a genuine showing of the pain he went through and would gain you sympathy instantly.

Adding more to the movie’s plus marks are the witty lines and comedic instances which viewers would relate to easily. The setting is also noteworthy as it brings a realistic feel and simplicity which is very much fit for the film. Some details to lookout for include scenes involving “murderer of love”, “Ruthie Pigface Draper” and something about love being an ability.

Dan In Real Life is a powerful family drama that I would recommend to anyone any day.

Five stars.

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