20071109

Dan in Real Life


I peeped Dan In Real Life yesterday and left with a nice little feeling in my cheeks. It was adorable in spite of itself. The oft-amazing Steve Carell and always alluring Juliette Binoche (Chocolat) carried the film with a believable chemistry while his large family provided a diverse (somewhat predictable) blanket of comedy relief behind them. The film even survived (perhaps even benefited from) the casting of Dane Cook (great comedian, terrible actor to this point) as Carell's brother. It included an enjoyable and cohesive soundtrack from linesthroughlines fave Sondre Lerche, some nice twists, and the usual warm and happy ending.

I say "in spite of itself" for a few reasons. Casting Cook was ballsy and it worked, so congrats. He's far better as a supporting role than as a headliner. But there were a few moments where I found the plot to be reaching and underdeveloped. Carell improbably playing guitar and singing during the emotional climax of the film was a stretch. At least twice (originally I was going to say thrice, but I can't remember the 3rd occasion), I had flashbacks to Judd Apatow's recent bevy of hits that Carell is certainly no stranger to. A wedding scene easily harkens to the finale of Anchorman and a yard football scene is reminiscent of Wedding Crashers. Also, for most of the movie, his three little girls hate him. And how could anyone hate Steve Carell!? As if girls, as if.

See it with a special person, family or otherwise. Smile. Etc.

Listen:
Hell No (w/ Regina Spektor)
Let My Love Open the Door (Pete Townsend Cover)
[from Dan in Real Life OST|buy]

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