Dan in Real Life

Dan in Real Life ★★½

This is a good family friendly feel good movie. Good all around. The mother and father characters are little flat, which is kind of sad because I think that John Mahoney is a great comedian. He could have been better applied. Well, both parents could have been better used overall.

Dan struggles to make his daughters like him, 4 years after their mother dies. Instead of listening to them he decides to lay down the law. It's all downhill from here, folks. If you've ever been a teenage daughter, you'll lose a lot of sympathy for Dan pretty quickly.

The family drive off to visit their extended cousins aunts uncles grandparents etc. Dan meets a woman in a bookstore who turns out to be his brother's new squeeze. Dan loses his shit repeatedly and acts like a big nasty jerk. I like that I didn't like his methods of courtship, and I like that he wasn't incredibly likeable.

But was this a story worth telling? This viewer votes no. It was lovely, cute, not very quirky although it tried to be. Steve Carell wasn't especially funny or dramatic. It felt like the director tied binding bras around his cast and refused to let them into the hearts of the viewers. Medium shots don't convey the same emotions that close ups do.

But it was a nice movie.