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Dan in Real Life

Drama . Romance . Comedy

Advice columnist Dan Burns (Carell) is an expert on relationships, but somehow struggles to succeed as a brother, a son and a single parent to three precocious daughters. Things get even more complicated when Dan finds out that the woman he falls in love with is actually his brother's new girlfriend.

Actors: Norbert Leo Butz , Marlene Lawston , Britt Robertson , Alison Pill , Emily Blunt , John Mahoney , Dianne Wiest , Dane Cook , Juliette Binoche , Steve Carell
Directors: Peter Hedges
Country: USA
Release: 2007-10-26
More Info:
  • Mick LaSalle

    Dan in Real Life fires on so many circuits that at times it's actually shocking how good it is.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    A nimble and supple and moving comedy.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Carell shows a whole new side to his talents.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    As a director Hedges is smart enough to allow his actors to share the frame and interact and let the material breathe.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    A smart, sweet, and thoroughly disarming ensemble comedy that isn't afraid to wear its humanism on its sleeve.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    Provides Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche with comic roles that fit them like designer threads.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Dan offers the most pleasing kind of unforced charm as it uses a terrific plot device to examine the conflicts between family and romance as well as the joy and pain of being in love.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Leydon

    Deftly interlaces heart and humor in a witty, warm and well-observed comedy about the unexpected and inconvenient blooming of romance at the weekend gathering of an extended family.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    If the film has a flaw, and I'm afraid it does, it's the Sondre Lerche songs on the soundtrack. They are too foregrounded and literal, either commenting on the action or expounding on associated topics. In such a laid-back movie, they're in our face.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The anti-Ben Stiller comedy: There's humiliation aplenty but no mugging, no abuse to the crotch region, no straining to be outrageous.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    Watching Binoche dithering about an American comedy takes some getting used to, but she's a believable soul mate for the hangdog Carell. The rest of the family, however, has got to go.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Novelist-turned-writer/director Peter Hedges follows up his "Pieces Of April" debut with a comedy that's at once overstuffed and surprisingly subtle.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    There's nothing groundbreaking about Dan in Real Life -- it's a picture that could have been made 10 or 20 years ago -- and yet its easygoing, affable nature is exactly what makes it pleasurable. Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Dan in Real Life is neither wildly farcical nor mockingly cruel, but rather, for the most part, winningly gentle and observant.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    In a brief review in Time magazine this week, I gave Dan a gentleman's B-. Let me try to remember why. Because the pressure of keeping his ardor secret turns Dan pleasingly cranky.

    Time Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Dan in Real Life is basically a slightly less-sappy version of "TheFamily Stone."

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Sweet it is. Remotely connected to real life, however, it is not.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Almost reflexively, the filmmakers skirt Dan's messier conflicts. But it is the moments when they don't dance around the awkward issue of a brother falling for his brother's girl that Dan is the most poignant.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    In the end, the commercial necessity of wrapping up a family comedy in less than 100 minutes seems to have trumped anything real about Dan's life.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Cook has as much depth as a coaster, so it's impossible under any circumstances to imagine Binoche falling in love with him. Her complicated, heartfelt performance is the reason to see the film: When she's around, she pierces the soothing gray nothingness with shafts of sunlight.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Rick Kisonak

    On its own terms, the picture is at least as contrived as it is charming and its characters in many cases bear less resemblance to flesh and blood human beings than those in a Farrelly brothers farce.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    A small but sweetly formed comedy of romantic misfortune that can’t quite keep Hollywood at bay.

    Empire Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    Dan in Real Life steals from that line in "Virgin" about Carell kinda looking like Luke Wilson, since here Carell is, after all, playing the Luke Wilson role from "The Family Stone."

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Sean Axmaker

    The cozy, lived-in atmosphere created by the ensemble and the unlikely chemistry of Carell and Binoche are so genuine that you wish the rest of the film was just as effortless and authentic.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Dan in Real Life takes a pleasant premise and calls upon the talents of engaging actors and generally squanders both.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    There's a great movie to be had in the notion of a busybody whose advice keeps blowing up in his face, but Dan in Real Life merely sets it up and walks away.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Beneath its aw-shucks, wants-to-be-liked exterior, this is a bankrupt motion picture. It's cloying, artificial, and not the least bit romantic.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    All goes according to course, and that's exactly the problem with Dan in Real Life.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Pleasing moments don't add up to a feature film, even though this one strives desperately for substance and coherence by slathering its slender story with treacly family values.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Filmgoers haven't seen a family this neurotically enmeshed since the last Diane Keaton movie.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    The setup of this comedy by director-cowriter Peter Hedges (Pieces of April) and some subsequent twists may be contrived, and the laughs aren't very plentiful, but much of the behavior seems real, and the able cast makes the most of it.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Robert Koehler

    Bad movies invariably stem from bad ideas, and the worst of the several rancid ideas packed inside of Dan in Real Life is that Steve Carell could be the new Alan Alda.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    With all its cloying, tone-deaf attempts at genuine emotional warmth, all it really deserves is to be avoided.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    I could see people enjoying Dan in Real Life, I guess -- the scenery is nice and the people are pretty and the songs are cute little emotion substitutes. But Dan? Buddy? It's not all about you.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
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