15 January 2008 | seawalker
Not massively original, but it is entertaining
Steve Carell plays Dan Burns, newspaper agony uncle and dedicated single father to three girls. At a large family homecoming Dan meets his perfect woman, only to find out that she is in a relationship with his brother.
What's a man to do?
I rather liked "Dan In Real Life", but I would imagine the success or otherwise of this flick is going to be down to whether you are willing to accept Steve Carell playing a part relatively straight and restrained, rather than going through the broad comedy moves that have made him so successful. If you cannot accept it, fear not, "Get Smart" will be along later in the year, but for the record I thought he was very good.
"Dan In Real Life" starts off like your typical, incidentally amusing, family drama, but it gets funnier and funnier as it goes along and Carell's frustration with his situation grows. It's not massively original (but if you only saw movies with original ideas, cinematic pickings would be very scarce indeed, wouldn't they?), but "Dan In Real Life" is entertaining, and a good cast (who wouldn't fall in love at first sight with the luminous Juliette Binoche?) make the most of an insightful enough script that contains many a ponder on the meaning and passion of love.
I hope that Steve Carell pushes himself and does something as interesting again.