November 16, 2007

Dan In Real Life

Title: Dan in Real Life
Year: 2007
Cast: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook

Steve Carell is a star- how do we know that: very simply: without him, this would have been a non-movie, despite Juliette Binoche's greatest efforts. He comes through- endearingly, engagingly, he comes through with a performance that moves you despite everything.

Its a simple enough story.
Dan is a widower with 3 daughters, who he has conscientiously raised one since his wife's death 4 years ago. He takes off with his daughters to his parents' house (which looks like it is in Maine) one Thanksgiving weekend.

When there, early one morning , he meets Ann Marie (Binoche). They DON'T exchange names, and he falls head over heels in love n first sight as she drives away...which leads to a slight problem, because later the same morning, she is introduced to him again- as his brother's girlfriend.

And then ensues a rigmarole of pretense- at first they deny the mutual attraction, then try to distract themselves with others, etc etc...

It is pretty obvious how it would end- the entire family finds out, and is promptly horrified, Dan and his daughters gain a mutual understanding, he ends up married to Ann Marie, and of course his brother (Dane Cook), finds someone else.

There is nothing complicated with any of this, and the movie is definitely not Oscar material. Regardless, Carell's performance lends substance and renders the movie immensely watchable.
Not a bad idea for a quiet night.

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