Friday, June 20, 2008

DVD REVIEW : "Dan in Real Life"

I didn't have hugely high hopes for "Dan in Real Life." It came and went through theaters without much ado - I have not heard anyone really jump up and say "watch this!!" But, I did not dread it either. I love Steve Carell and the story itself sounded intriguing.

And actually... it is a pretty darn good film. The screenplay is the true winner here - Dan's 3 girls are represented very well, they felt completely real and definitely grounded the main character and emphasized his situation (wife has died).

The screenplay is a knockout and in the right hands - this film could have been a big winner. But sadly, there are some major defects.

Steve Carell did not cut it - I love the guy, but his performance here had the sympathy and sadness, but not the drive to change. He never earned the love and hope from the audience and therefor his actions sometimes came off odd and unsupported.

Dane Cook is awful - why does this guy get work?

Juliet Binoche is a great actress, but really she fails here. She is miscast and stands as the biggest change needed in the film.

I spoke with Cara after viewing, trying to find a name that could have made the film amazing - all I could come up with was Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan... and even Ryan did not feel right.

Rent it and see if I am wrong. The story is great (if not a little predictable, but that is not always bad) and the interaction and story with the daughters is really good (and a little frightening).

"Dan in Real Life" : B



Sheriff Officer Greg the Bunny said...

We saw this film recently also. Seemed like it wanted to be great but just missed the mark.


Damfino said...


Kern said...

Was this a Peter Hedges joint? It seems like he's only done a few things since Gilbert Grape, like Pieces of April which I heard was good.

He was actually a Valley High Alum and came to read excerpts of Gilbert Grape and talk about his time rooming with John Malkovich in NYC. It was kind of cool.

PS-Dane Cook is kind of a self congratulatory piece of excrement scraping himself off of the soles of far better comedians.

Hope everyone's well!