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Dan In Real Life
Category Comedy , Drama
Year: 2007
Time: 98 minutes
Production: Touchstone Pictures
Cast:
Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, John Mahoney
MPAA PG-13 / UKPG
Our Rating 2/10 - You'll see every plot twist a mile off
Watchability 1/10 - Never again
Contributed by Jordan Taylor
 
Plot:

Dan is an agony-aunt for a local newspaper, and a widower with three daughters. He's an over-protective parent who doesn't realise his girls are growing up fast, and doesn't follow his own advice that he hands out every day to others. While on an annual family trip to his parents' seaside home for a long weekend, he pretends to work at a book store to talk to an average-looking female customer (Binoche) and then continues to chat non-stop to her over a coffee about his own life.
  She leaves in a hurry - and then turns up at the house as his brother's mystery new girlfriend. Even though they only met an hour or two before, and he did all the talking anyway, he is somehow deeply in love with her and acts like a moody child for the rest of the holiday.  Still want to watch it??!  The trailer said it's a feel good movie.

 
So, how does it end?

So, Marie is jealous of Dan after his date with the much better-looking Ruthie, even though she has no reason to be, and serves him burnt pancakes.
  At the terrible, truly awful family talent show Dan plays the guitar (for the first time since his wife died) as his brother sings nervously on stage. The words mean something to Marie and she can't take it any longer.
  Next day she breaks up with the brother and drives off, breaking the poor guy's heart.  She calls Dan to tell him she didn't get too far.  Dan and Marie meet up at the bowling alley, start dancing when the lights go out and ... you'll guess this a mile off, when they first share a kiss they turn around and there is the whole family, standing and watching.  Like silent ninja assassins.
  Everyone is digusted, Dan is punched (in the top of the head??) and Marie runs off. Dan then reverses into the same one-many-army cop car, and his license is taken away.

Back at the house the father and daughter publishing team have arrived - and the interview about Dan's morals couldn't be any worse.
  Dan apologises to his brother, who doesn't want to hear it, and goes off instead with Ruthie.

Dan's daughters convince him to chase after Marie - and he realises he was wrong to judge them. The eldest one is allowed to drive, and they find Marie jogging in the gym.

In the credits, Dan and Marie are celebrating after their wedding, while in the crowd dancing are the brother and Ruthie, and the moody daughter with her Mexican boyfriend. 

 
Comments

Ok, I'm a huge Steve Carell fan - 'The Office An American Workplace' is one of the finest tv shows around, but this movie was just painful.  I didn't want to put it in the "comedy" category, because I genuinely can't think of anything that even attempted to be funny.  Romantic? I suppose. Cute? Maybe a little. A good tear-jerker? Not at all. But funny? I don't think the writers were going for that.
  The family talent show was so mind-numbingly bad to watch I could feel my blood boiling, I honestly could. And what's with the Chinese kid?? Where did she come from??!
  The Outtakes shows what a bad time Carell had on set - he couldn't even force a genuine smile for most of them.  I thought he was acting, but he just looks exhausted all throughout this one.
  So things I learnt from this movie -- 1) It's ok to cheat with your brother's girlfriend as long as you truly feel you love her.  'Boyfriend schmoy-friend'.  2) Families will laugh at anything in a talent contest.  3) Charades followed by bowling is the perfect pick-me-up after getting your heart broken.

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