Overall Impression — A sweet movie with a great cast.  


Who’s the main character? — Steve Carell’s Dan Burns.

What’s he trying to accomplish? — He’s trying find love…and unfortunately for him the object of  his affection is his brother’s new girlfriend (Juliette Binoche).

Who’s trying to stop him? — Everyone!  The family thinks she’s great, his brother’s a jerk, she’s clearly getting interested in him…but stealing your brother’s girlfriend is wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

What happens if he fails? — The girl of his dreams will leave forever, or worse, marry his brother which will mean a lifetime of torture for Dan.


Orphan —  Dan’s a widower, who has all but given up on finding a woman as wonderful as his dead wife.

Wanderer –Dan travels to a family reunion where he cute-meets a great girl, only to discover that she’s his brother’s new girlfriend.   He tries avoiding her, avoiding his feelings, but eventually realizes that he can’t, so he goes…

Warrior — …negative on her!  He tells her that whenever he thinks about her, he’s going to think about her flaws.  He even goes out on a date with a wildly inappropriate local girl to make Marie think he’s not interested in her (which just serves to make her more interested in him!)

Martyr — A little weak, here.  As I recall, Dan only gives up his reluctance to tell Marie how he feels.  This leads to a fight with his brother, Marie leaving, and ultimately…getting back together again.  More pointedly, he does give up on not allowing his daughter to drive (he lost his license and now needs her to drive him to the city to find Marie) but this is thin.


Dying is easy…comedy is hard.  And romantic comedy is hardest of all. DAN IN REAL LIFE does a great job but falls a little short in the “martyr” beats.  Not a lot short, only a little.  Still, a nice story, well acted and well told.

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “DAN IN REAL LIFE”

  1. twilight March 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    Saw this movie yesterday, doesnt Dan give up his job by telling the truth, that he doesnt read the blog him self?

Leave a Reply