March 26, 2010

Dan in Real Life (Peter Hedges, 2007)

WHAT IT IS: Dan, a columnist, has a chance encounter with the lovely Marie and, for the both of them, it's love at first sight. But, he soon discovers she's taken... by his training-obsessed, fickle brother.

HOW IT IS: Dan in real life is filmmaking by the numbers. It hits its various notes and hits them well but with neither flair nor much independent spirit. Steve Carrell is typecasted as Dan and embodies well his nervousness and pitiful gestures. As his love interest, Juliette Binoche is perfect, infusing charm and sophistication to her character. Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney are superb and Dane Cook has never been known to play any other character but himself. The movie' s plot is too predictable and the characters rarely venture into unknown territory. Dan in Real Life makes for an passible rental but is in no way a classic.

IF YOU LIKED: 40 Year-Old Virgin.