Saturday, December 22, 2012
Dan in Real Life by Peter Hedges, 2008 (PG-13)
with Steve Carell (Crazy Stupid Love), Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Breaking and Entering, Chocolat, Paris, Copie Conforme), Dane Cook, Alison Pill (To Rome With Love, Milk), Brittany Robertson, Marlene Lawston, Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole), John Mahoney, Norbert Leo Butz, Emily Blunt (Wild Target, The Adjustment Bureau, The Five-Year Engagement, Your Sister's Sister, Looper), Jessica Hecht (Fair Game)
In this romantic comedy from director Peter Hedges, advice columnist and widowed father of three Dan Burns meets a new woman who's beautiful and smart -- but she also happens to be the girlfriend of Dan's brother, Mitch.
This was the first movie of Steve Carell that made me like the actor. I was always wondering if he could play something else than light blockbuster comedy. This movie is not small, it has a solid cast, quite some comedy to it, but somehow the director managed to give the movie a depth that is very much unique, and make the character of Dan more than a fool, an ordinary man lost in his responsibilities of single dad, targeted by the rest of the family as the lost child, and for some reason falling for the wrong person. But besides the discomfort of some of the situations, the movie remains very much human and intelligent. I guess Juliette Binoche helped quite a bit in turning the movie into more than a comedy, but the duet really works.