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Dan in Real Life

Something's happening to Dan. It's Confusing. It's Awkward. It's Family. 

Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Dan in Real Life

Director: Peter Hedges

Starring: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook

Dan Burns (Carell) is a widower who dedicates his life to his three daughters and to his job until one day he bumps into Marie (Binoche) in a book store and falls in love with her. Unfortunately for him, he soon discovers that she is actually dating his brother. Worse still, this means that he has to tolerate her company at the annual family get-together.

This is an unusual role for Carell, who is often found portraying crazier, more slapstick characters. This is his chance to discover his more mature side, rather like Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine…. He does a great job at depicting a man with nowhere to turn and hopelessly in love with someone he can’t have. The love he feels seems more real than what you find in your average Hollywood rom-com.

Binoche, however effectively steals the show; her indecisiveness makes the outcome of the film not apparent from the very beginning, which is very refreshing. She is also intelligent, naturally attractive and the right age to be Dan’s love interest – all these things make the story more realistic and easier to relate to. The teenage girls provide many of the laughs and remind you how even the nicest kids can have their moments.

This film successfully pulls off being a comedy and a drama; the dialogue is both funny and moving. Most of the humour comes from life observations and you will find yourself laughing in agreement, thinking ‘Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt that way!’

The story is not particularly unique but plays out in a fresh and realistic way without conforming to the clichés of its genre. The heart-warming story is a refreshing break from the sleazy jokes and unrealistic couplings that the big screen has seen so much of recently. Every member of the family was brilliantly cast and they work together so well that they could fool you into thinking that they were actually related!

This film is highly recommended to viewers in search of an interesting and mature romantic comedy. Carell definitely proves he is an actor with many talents. The clever script and fine cast make this film well worth a trip to the cinema!

Julia Huntenburg

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)
2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)