It’s pretty rare to say the least that I will really enjoy a slow moving family romance/comedy. Just not my cup of tea. And while I enjoy Steve Carrell (especially on The Office and Get Smart) I can’t say I enjoy every piece that he is involved in. Another thing I noted was the presence of Dane Cook in the cast. Not the best thing for me to find out. So, not a whole lot of expectations with Dan in Real Life.
Dan is a widower with 3 daughters, all going through their own problems. While he is visiting his entire family on their annual trip, he meets a woman. Little does he know, that the woman (Juliette Binoche) is actually already dating his brother (Dane Cook). And that is basically it. A very basic plot with a small cast (about 12 in the family, very few extras) and even fewer locations.
By all accounts, this movie should fail miserably for those reasons listed above (and the trailer makes it look as such). But, as you can probably tell, I was really surprised. The movie shows the struggle of the single dad, with all of his loneliness and his struggle with his own happiness and the happiness of his family. There were some laugh out loud moments, predictable cringe-worthy scenes, and plenty of family bonding. Even Dane Cook didn’t irk me too much! The music, to me, was one of the keys. In fact, I even have bought the soundtrack by Sondre Learche, and love almost every track. A very pleasant surprise.