User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 157 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 157
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  1. Shannon
    Feb 7, 2009
    10
    I loved it! Great storyline, clean humor, very heartfelt... definitely one to add to the family collection.
  2. RyanP.
    Mar 20, 2008
    3
    Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche can do much better. Everything feels far to contrived. The family dynamic that is portrayed seems deeply out of touch with reality. A few laughs can be found, but overall the movie limps to the inevitable "feel good" ending.
  3. EmilyF
    Oct 30, 2007
    3
    This was, possibly, the most contrived film I have ever seen. It literally left me squirming in my seat. The characters, the setting, everything was just the most cliche thing that the writers could come up with, I am sure of this. This is especially in regards to Dan's three daughters. However, I did think that Steve Carell was perhaps the only redeeming quality of this film. His This was, possibly, the most contrived film I have ever seen. It literally left me squirming in my seat. The characters, the setting, everything was just the most cliche thing that the writers could come up with, I am sure of this. This is especially in regards to Dan's three daughters. However, I did think that Steve Carell was perhaps the only redeeming quality of this film. His charm onscreen was electric, and he made the most of some poor lines and events. I reiterate, Steve Carell=great. Dan in Real Life=worthy of avoidance. Expand
  4. SusanG.
    Oct 22, 2007
    4
    Way over the top and predictable...unlikeable characters.
  5. RobR.
    Oct 26, 2007
    1
    Horrible movie. A love affair so unoriginal it, it made the poor acting stick out like a sore thumb. Far too frequent smatterings of family-bonding montages to fool the audience into thinking that it's actually family movie. It's about 50% montage, 25% watching empty characters flap lips at each other, 25% somewhere on the editing room floor. Don't try to resist the urge to Horrible movie. A love affair so unoriginal it, it made the poor acting stick out like a sore thumb. Far too frequent smatterings of family-bonding montages to fool the audience into thinking that it's actually family movie. It's about 50% montage, 25% watching empty characters flap lips at each other, 25% somewhere on the editing room floor. Don't try to resist the urge to walk out, thinking it might get better. It doesn't. Expand
  6. DavidR.
    Oct 26, 2007
    1
    The latest bomb from Steve Carrel, the new millenium's answer to C. Thomas Howell. Great songs by Lerche but the movie moves at a snail's pace and Dane Cook's cameo was vomit-enducing.
  7. ThomasM.
    Oct 29, 2007
    7
    I like the NY Times's take on it best: "winningly gentle and observant." The story centers on Carell and Binoche without falling in the "crazy relatives and drama!" trap like so much holiday mush. Warning: you will fall for Juliette Binoche, if you haven't already from her previous films.
  8. OtmS.
    May 6, 2008
    4
    Pap. The characters exist only to create dilemmas for the romantic leads. Steve Carrell does his best, but the writing is uninspired.
  9. PatriceD
    May 9, 2008
    9
    This movie was actually a sweet, poignant look at family and love, and was very entertaining as well. If you are a cynic, it is not going to work for you. If you know that some families actually love each other, you will be touched. It is like a wonderful summer vacation with your best friends.
  10. NickL
    May 9, 2008
    0
    Terrible. I usually find Steve Carell to be enjoyable, I wasn't aware Dane Cook was featured, but in spite of that I don't think I've ever seen a movie that made me as miserable as "Dan In Real Life". There is absolutely nothing real about it. Just a whole bunch of cliches, a bunch of unrealistic situations and some unlikeable characters in a pretty "New England" house. As Terrible. I usually find Steve Carell to be enjoyable, I wasn't aware Dane Cook was featured, but in spite of that I don't think I've ever seen a movie that made me as miserable as "Dan In Real Life". There is absolutely nothing real about it. Just a whole bunch of cliches, a bunch of unrealistic situations and some unlikeable characters in a pretty "New England" house. As predictable as can be, not funny at all and has recurring things that are just annoying. Ohhh the cop is coming back to ticket him - comic gold! I really wish i never saw this movie. I don't blame any of the actors. Horrible script. Its hard to believe anyone over the age/maturity/insight level of 20 years wrote this script. Expand
  11. KathyE.
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    I loved this movie. It is warm and clever and funny, with so many little intricate touches contributing to the story line, the character development and the feel-good feeling of it. No, the family was not realistic, but the individuals in it were, as you got a glimpse into each of them in "just three days". I still feel great and hopeful even 24 hours after watching it.
  12. JayS.
    Nov 10, 2007
    9
    This was one movie that took me by surprise. Carell and Binoche both deliver wonderful performances and the supporting cast was great. Carell takes a turn as his role as Dan, which in my opinion is one of the better performances this year. I enjoyed every moment of this movie, but it felt like I was watching The Family Stone again. Even though it seemed sappy and sitcom like, I could not This was one movie that took me by surprise. Carell and Binoche both deliver wonderful performances and the supporting cast was great. Carell takes a turn as his role as Dan, which in my opinion is one of the better performances this year. I enjoyed every moment of this movie, but it felt like I was watching The Family Stone again. Even though it seemed sappy and sitcom like, I could not help but feel for the charactors and wanted them to all have their happy ever afters. This is on my top 10 list for one of the best movies of 2007. Go out and see it , you wont regret it. Expand
  13. KenanH.
    Nov 23, 2007
    6
    Not Steve Carrel's best at all. But still a funny movie.
  14. ChadS.
    Nov 4, 2007
    9
    The name of the film is "Dan in Real Life", not "Dan in an Ingmar Bergman Homage". Thankfully, Dan's family isn't a bunch of eccentric kooks. They're more like people than types. The only time "Dan in Real Life" loses its credibility as a depiction of "real life" is when they the family puts on a talent show. Then it feels like a Woody Allen film on acid. Steve Carell (in a The name of the film is "Dan in Real Life", not "Dan in an Ingmar Bergman Homage". Thankfully, Dan's family isn't a bunch of eccentric kooks. They're more like people than types. The only time "Dan in Real Life" loses its credibility as a depiction of "real life" is when they the family puts on a talent show. Then it feels like a Woody Allen film on acid. Steve Carell (in a dramatic turn that Jim Carey would die for), like Allen, holds his own against a much more beautiful counterpart. Placing Binoche in a bowling alley is a brilliant way of demonstrating how this American film has a European influence, and how her character is willing to settle down after a life of jet-setting. Expand
  15. BillB.
    Oct 23, 2007
    2
    They should give you a spatula to scrape all the cheese off this movie...awful.
  16. VinceM.
    Oct 27, 2007
    10
    This movie was great in every way. Steve Carell is a great actor and actually brought depth to his character, and I hate Dane Cook, but even he wasn't annoying or grating. A well told story that had me become a complete cliche'; laughing and crying at certain moments. This one would be fun to see more than once.
  17. JaredC.
    Oct 27, 2007
    6
    It's one of those Steve Carell PG-13 allright romantic comedies. It's not the greatest film of all time but it is worth seeing. But don't expect to go to the theatre and laugh your brains out, it's truly not that funny. But ... I recommend only to people who enjoy short romantic comedies with not a lot of innaproprate elements. It's ment for 46-year-olds with good It's one of those Steve Carell PG-13 allright romantic comedies. It's not the greatest film of all time but it is worth seeing. But don't expect to go to the theatre and laugh your brains out, it's truly not that funny. But ... I recommend only to people who enjoy short romantic comedies with not a lot of innaproprate elements. It's ment for 46-year-olds with good mature taste. Though, it's not meant for us young viewers. Expand
  18. GrantS.
    Oct 28, 2007
    9
    Great movie. Not really the type of movie I usually like but I really enjoyed this one. Reminded me a lot of my family. I can't respect people who write reviews who haven't finished the movie, since you have not experienced the entire movie. All in all I enjoyed this movie a lot and don't understand why people and critics don't like it.
  19. RyanD.
    Oct 28, 2007
    10
    I don't know what everyone else is smoking, but this movie was great. I think more people need to vote, not just the ones with nothing going on in their lives. Everyone in the theater was laughing all the way through this movie. I think they would have to disagree with your retarded ratings.
  20. BrittanyH.
    Oct 30, 2007
    7
    This movie had one of those classic, predictable story lines where everything in "Movieland" ends up perfectly. The characters in the film, were very well developed and fun to watch, as characters in movies should be. But the one thing that really set this movie in aspect for me, was the setting in which the story was based. The homie cottage in Rhode Island, and the way the fictional This movie had one of those classic, predictable story lines where everything in "Movieland" ends up perfectly. The characters in the film, were very well developed and fun to watch, as characters in movies should be. But the one thing that really set this movie in aspect for me, was the setting in which the story was based. The homie cottage in Rhode Island, and the way the fictional family connected on screen, with the games and the close relationships between the different family memebers. Although the audience knows the outcome of the film within the first 20 minutes or so, this movie sets a warm, nice feeling in your hearts and sends you home with a nice message of "what true love is" and how we will all some how find it someday. Expand
  21. MaryE.
    Oct 30, 2007
    10
    Beautifully written, unbelievable cast and a wonderful story. This is the kind of movie you can't stop thinking about even days later. Your reaction to this film may depend on how you relate to your own family...this family actually likes each other. Steve Carell deserves a Golden Globe nomination for this film.
  22. JennaG.
    Jan 16, 2008
    10
    The best film i have seen in a long time. I'm not one to cry but it did bring a tear to my eye!
  23. DavidD.
    Jan 8, 2008
    3
    A film truly without any direction, almost all the characters here are truly unlikable (Dan thinks he's found the love of his life just because he blabbed on and on to her for an hour, and we're supposed to like his daughters even though they despise him just because they didn't get their way). A trully AWFUL ending as well. This movie actually reminded me of RV, except A film truly without any direction, almost all the characters here are truly unlikable (Dan thinks he's found the love of his life just because he blabbed on and on to her for an hour, and we're supposed to like his daughters even though they despise him just because they didn't get their way). A trully AWFUL ending as well. This movie actually reminded me of RV, except here, in addition to the supporting characters all being unlikable (or likable characters being pushed as unlikable ones), the main characters is also equally hard to find merit in. Honestly, the "real life" part of the title may be the biggest lie of the year, if I ever saw a family this dysfunctional, I'd call them a therapist right away. Skip Dan In Real Life, you'll find nothing but pointless frustration to be found. Expand
  24. MeghanC.
    Feb 4, 2008
    8
    I liked it movie it was so funny and cute. its not a movie that i would watch over and over again but it was cute and fun. Great family movie.
  25. DavidS.
    Mar 13, 2008
    1
    What are the critics smoking? This drippy,sappy, and predictable film is completely overrated. Steve Carell is competent in his first semi-serious role, but alas, the script is a Walmart special! Any human being with a brain at least the size of a pea could predict the ending. Also, do we really need cheesy family values slammed down our throats! I mean c'mon, talent shows and What are the critics smoking? This drippy,sappy, and predictable film is completely overrated. Steve Carell is competent in his first semi-serious role, but alas, the script is a Walmart special! Any human being with a brain at least the size of a pea could predict the ending. Also, do we really need cheesy family values slammed down our throats! I mean c'mon, talent shows and aerobics, give me a break! Skip this movie, you've already seen and loathed it a million times before! Expand
  26. EvanS.
    Apr 4, 2008
    2
    The draw of
  27. ColeM
    Jul 9, 2009
    4
    This movie was sooooo......I don't know. Such a normal, mediocre movie. It is something I could see becoming my mom's favorite movie. I love Steve Carell in The Office and Little MIss Sunshine but I absolutely hated this movie. I give it a 4 because a) everyone loves it and b) Steve Carell is in it.
  28. SteveS.
    Nov 11, 2007
    10
    My wife and I loved everything about this movie. Well done, great chemistry, and great family vibe.
  29. DanaM.
    Nov 11, 2007
    8
    Very enjoyable movie. Defintely worth the twenty bucks for my wife and I to see. Some real laugh out loud moments. Go see it.
  30. LewisP.
    Nov 12, 2007
    4
    There's little to get excited about "Dan in Real Life". First off, the whole setup is incredibly contrived. Did you really believe that during that very long first meeting conversation at the restaurant, Marie wouldn't have told Dan where she was going? And since Dan did all the talking during that conversation, why would she be so attracted to him? For that matter, I never There's little to get excited about "Dan in Real Life". First off, the whole setup is incredibly contrived. Did you really believe that during that very long first meeting conversation at the restaurant, Marie wouldn't have told Dan where she was going? And since Dan did all the talking during that conversation, why would she be so attracted to him? For that matter, I never figured out why Marie was so attracted to Dan throughout the movie. He's very narcissistic and does little to convince us that he's truly a good guy (for example he lies to Marie in the bookstore, ridicules his brother about his past girlfriends and tries to make Marie jealous with a 'blind date'). There's more contrivance such as that ridiculous scene at the bowling alley where Dan and Marie are caught making out by the whole family. Yeah like that could really happen. Dan in Real life is slow-paced, sappy and manipulative. Even chick flicks like The Jane Austen Book Club get higher marks than this predictable "tearjerker". Expand
  31. Tim
    Nov 1, 2007
    10
    One of my favorite films in several years. It is much deeper than I had expected. Funny in spots, heartbreaking in others, and ultimately life-affirming. Steve goes above and beyond.
  32. J.PaulM.
    Nov 12, 2007
    2
    Bring a dentist, because you will need fillings after being force fed this sugary-sweet mixture of "family fun" and "unbelievable attraction." What family engages in male vs. female crossword competitions and forced morning calisthenics? Nazi bookworms! The situations the characters get into a forced and contrived and this "family" is a walking J. Crew ad posing as a real family. Bring a dentist, because you will need fillings after being force fed this sugary-sweet mixture of "family fun" and "unbelievable attraction." What family engages in male vs. female crossword competitions and forced morning calisthenics? Nazi bookworms! The situations the characters get into a forced and contrived and this "family" is a walking J. Crew ad posing as a real family. They're picture perfect until one brother punches the other in the face, and no one in the family seems to care. Totally unbelievable. The only saving graces were about five funny lines from Carrell, who does his best to salvage this film. Expand
  33. DanC.
    Nov 17, 2007
    10
    warm-hearted, thoughtful film about love and family - perfect for friday night after a tough week on the job!
  34. [Anonymous]
    Nov 22, 2007
    1
    Boring. Never goes anywhere and a complete waste of my time. May have had a good idea to present, but was horriable at doing. All I could think was "when will this be over". Wouldn't suggest this form of torture for anyone.
  35. GaryJ.
    Nov 8, 2007
    8
    A refreshing breath of life. Some contrivance, but still very emjoyable.
  36. RichardS.
    Oct 24, 2007
    9
    Carell and Cook show a whole new side to their acting talents. A must see for a good laugh.
  37. Kris
    Oct 26, 2007
    9
    Dan in Real Life is funny and heartwarming with moments of touching reality. It's a perfect balance of silly moments and truth. It's great to see Steve Carell show a whole other side of his talent - he's got it all.
  38. AntonioR.
    Oct 26, 2007
    1
    Amazing!
  39. GenoB.
    Oct 26, 2007
    2
    Spoon fed pablum. Left mid-way. But you might enjoy it if you have a delusional saccharin view of life and want something that won't challange or threaten that. Have fun!
  40. MarkS.
    Oct 26, 2007
    7
    It wasn't amazing, but it was not bad by any means. Steve Carell does a nice turn as a dad struggling to cope with loss and love while raising three girls.
  41. WillP.
    Oct 27, 2007
    2
    Should be called, DAMN UNREAL LIFE - that would be much accurate... the only thing worse than the script is the direction and it turns out the same guy did both... who puts up the money for these things??? That's two in a row for me, I saw FEAST OF LOVE (it's even more contrived if you can believe that!) also BAD. I'm also at the point where I'm willing to pay money Should be called, DAMN UNREAL LIFE - that would be much accurate... the only thing worse than the script is the direction and it turns out the same guy did both... who puts up the money for these things??? That's two in a row for me, I saw FEAST OF LOVE (it's even more contrived if you can believe that!) also BAD. I'm also at the point where I'm willing to pay money not to see DANE COOK in a movie -- EVER AGAIN! What so he's funny on stage he must be able to act? Why doesn't Meryl Streep take over for Jon Stewart then??? Who runs these studios? Expand
  42. EllenK.
    Oct 27, 2007
    0
    The most contrived, unoriginal movie of 2007 by a mile. It was like Touchstone got their hands on a copy of "The Family Stone", made a few minor changes and called it "Dan in Real Life". The problem is that this movie is even WORSE. The family was so grating, saccharine and unrealistic every time they engaged in some "family activity" - outdoor aerobics, battle of the sexes crossword The most contrived, unoriginal movie of 2007 by a mile. It was like Touchstone got their hands on a copy of "The Family Stone", made a few minor changes and called it "Dan in Real Life". The problem is that this movie is even WORSE. The family was so grating, saccharine and unrealistic every time they engaged in some "family activity" - outdoor aerobics, battle of the sexes crossword puzzles, charades, talent show - that I didn't know whether to scream or vomit. I don't know what the critics were thinking when they saw this string of cliches trying to pass itself off as a movie, but they've seen this movie before, and so have you. Expand
  43. ThomasS
    Oct 27, 2007
    0
    I read Ebert's review of the movie and thought, 3 stars, it can't be bad. Maaan was Ebert ever F'ed up on this one. Depressing, Masculinely embarassing, Stupid, and mostly, oh wait, I already said it was embarassing to men. Steve Carell, while awesome in 40 year old virgin, was an absolute whining, wussy, pansy in this movie. Grab a pair of balls Steve and stand up for I read Ebert's review of the movie and thought, 3 stars, it can't be bad. Maaan was Ebert ever F'ed up on this one. Depressing, Masculinely embarassing, Stupid, and mostly, oh wait, I already said it was embarassing to men. Steve Carell, while awesome in 40 year old virgin, was an absolute whining, wussy, pansy in this movie. Grab a pair of balls Steve and stand up for yourself. I couldn't make myself play the character he did no matter how much they paid me. Long story short. Stay the hell away from this movie!!!!!!!! Expand
  44. KamariaP.
    Oct 28, 2007
    10
    What a great film. I'm a huge Steve Carell fan- missed Evan Almighty- but i love his characters. he has a good range of comedy and sadness in this film. his expressions are also great- in the bar scene and talent show for example. Also Juliette Binoche- good to see her in a different kind of role. the pancake scene - she's great. I just enjoyed watching this family- they're What a great film. I'm a huge Steve Carell fan- missed Evan Almighty- but i love his characters. he has a good range of comedy and sadness in this film. his expressions are also great- in the bar scene and talent show for example. Also Juliette Binoche- good to see her in a different kind of role. the pancake scene - she's great. I just enjoyed watching this family- they're all entertaining and sweet- but also annoying for Carell's character- which is funny. Expand
  45. ChrisR.
    Oct 28, 2007
    10
    I don't know what all these people were talking about, this movie was definitely enjoyable.
  46. JimM.
    Oct 29, 2007
    10
    So funny you're all insane! It was a lot like The Family Stone, but that movie was horrible.
  47. MarkM
    Dec 9, 2007
    1
    I can't get over how horrible this movie was. There's a couple of scenes where Steve Carell's comic persona rises to the surface, but I spent the entire time wishing that someone would come in and arrest all these obnoxious characters. This is a painful movie to watch.
  48. Manuel
    Oct 31, 2007
    8
    Mr. Carell and Ms. Binoche were terrific. Thoroughly enjoyed the film. For those who have not seen it...go see it, sit back and enjoy.
  49. Jennifer
    Oct 31, 2007
    7
    Ok. I was disappointed by the fact that I was watching the Family Stone again. It has been playing on HBO or Cinemax all month so it's not like we forgot about that movie. Despite that fact, I did enjoy the movie. The pig song alone is worth watching. It was very touching and sweet and funny at times. It was a chick flick for guys.
  50. MattL
    Oct 13, 2008
    0
    Got this movie from the rental video and actually stopped watching halfway thru the movie.. I couldn't stand; 1) The cheesy feel good family scenes 2) The whole family falling head over heels over Juliette Binoche's character.. which I feel is totally NOT realistic 3) Juliette Binoche's character's labeled as pretty, beautiful etc.. which I can't see it at all.. Got this movie from the rental video and actually stopped watching halfway thru the movie.. I couldn't stand; 1) The cheesy feel good family scenes 2) The whole family falling head over heels over Juliette Binoche's character.. which I feel is totally NOT realistic 3) Juliette Binoche's character's labeled as pretty, beautiful etc.. which I can't see it at all.. I'm totally baffled in what they see in her?!?! Throw her in the mall and I bet ya that you wouldn't give her a second look. Expand
  51. JohnB.
    Jan 18, 2008
    9
    Masterful film making. How funny you find it depends on personal experience no doubt. I found it very funny indeed.
  52. KN.
    Feb 26, 2008
    8
    I was impressed with Carrell after his other comedic forays this was a pleasant change of direction. He is a gifted actor who on screen presence in this movie was believable and his portrayal of Dan was never under played or over played. He was Dan the man. Maybe not an Oscar award performance but he is now one actor that I will look forward to seeing in further flicks. The rest of the I was impressed with Carrell after his other comedic forays this was a pleasant change of direction. He is a gifted actor who on screen presence in this movie was believable and his portrayal of Dan was never under played or over played. He was Dan the man. Maybe not an Oscar award performance but he is now one actor that I will look forward to seeing in further flicks. The rest of the cast were a wonderful mix to add to the colorful family Dan belonged to. And here is the best thing I liked about the movie...it made you feel for 95 minutes that you somehow were also a part of his life. Good escapism which is what movies should be about me thinks! Sometimes a movie is just a movie guys Expand
  53. Mari
    Mar 11, 2008
    2
    This was part of our double-feature at a drive-in where we saw Enchanted. Basically, we could have watched it for free. Within an hour, we turned off the sound and played the hand slapping game until Enchanted came on again. It was boring and pointless; not the least bit engaging.
  54. Phil
    Mar 1, 2008
    6
    I can see how they tried to stray from the standard romantic comedy here, but generally speaking.. pretty transparent. Despite the poor plot, I enjoyed Carell's comedy, so it was an ok film.
  55. JayH.
    Mar 9, 2008
    6
    Juliette Binoche is such a charming actress, and she adds a lot to this film. It's a good story, but I don't think families are really like this, that aspect does not ring true. It's nicely written and I liked the score a lot. A pleasant feel good movie.
  56. MidouM.
    Apr 11, 2008
    7
    i hate rating movies before watching them, but i couldn't help but give this feature a 7/10 just for the cast because the story sounds dull and pretty much like every family movie.
  57. AnneM
    Apr 14, 2008
    2
    Sickening cloying cliche-filled flick that made me reach for the Maalox. You can see every solution to every plot line a mile away. The only thing I liked in this movie was the house...and the relief of the credits at the end.
  58. DevonS.
    Apr 27, 2008
    8
    A cute, humorous, and lighthearted tribute to the sitcoms of America.
  59. JonC.
    Apr 28, 2008
    0
    Very strange movie. I was waiting for it to turn surreal - I thought maybe they were making it bad on purpose. But no, this is supposed to be a real movie with real outdoor morning aerobics for the family and even a talent show with costumes. Reminded me of a Cosby Show episode. Maybe it was a computer generated script - I wouldn't be surprised as they seem to think the more CG the better.
  60. AnneM.
    Jun 26, 2008
    10
    I loved this film! I'm not really sure why so many people found it disappointing. It really seems to be genuine and heartfelt, and achieves just the right balance of comedy, drama, and romance. And the chemistry between Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche is sparkly and fun... they really make the film work. It is so refreshing to see a romantic comedy without gratuitous sex and I loved this film! I'm not really sure why so many people found it disappointing. It really seems to be genuine and heartfelt, and achieves just the right balance of comedy, drama, and romance. And the chemistry between Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche is sparkly and fun... they really make the film work. It is so refreshing to see a romantic comedy without gratuitous sex and unnecessary adult language that people of all ages can enjoy. Two thumbs up! Expand
  61. VauhgnL.
    Aug 1, 2008
    2
    Quite possibly the most boring movie I've ever seen. The characters are boring, the story is boring and the comedy falls flat.
  62. AllieD.
    Nov 11, 2007
    10
    One of my favorite movies! Definitely a refreshing glimpse of clean comedy and a heartwarming love story. Each actor brought their role to life and made the audience empathize with them in a real way.
  63. ChrisC
    Nov 10, 2007
    5
    There were a lot of good things about the movie. A lot of good performances, and they somehow managed to make Dane Cook not annoy me. They also managed to take the romantic comedy formula and breathe a little life into it it doesn't usually have. But, they also adhered way too much to the formula without really doing anything unique or original with it. And what kills it for me is There were a lot of good things about the movie. A lot of good performances, and they somehow managed to make Dane Cook not annoy me. They also managed to take the romantic comedy formula and breathe a little life into it it doesn't usually have. But, they also adhered way too much to the formula without really doing anything unique or original with it. And what kills it for me is how obviously they primed you to root for the ending to happen. They took a morally gray situation and imposed a really superficial moral compass on it that trivialized the entire plot, then justified it with a lot of cheap forgiveness. Collapse
  64. ShawnS
    Nov 18, 2007
    8
    This film is much smarter and more expertly-crafted than the critics (both professional and otherwise) as a whole gave it credit for. If you just look at it as part of the whole "romantic comedy" genre, this film is miles ahead of any of the typical formulaic, manipulative stuff in that category, so it is a wonderful surprise if that's all you are expecting. But this film touches This film is much smarter and more expertly-crafted than the critics (both professional and otherwise) as a whole gave it credit for. If you just look at it as part of the whole "romantic comedy" genre, this film is miles ahead of any of the typical formulaic, manipulative stuff in that category, so it is a wonderful surprise if that's all you are expecting. But this film touches upon much more, and does with very deft touches or writing and direction. And the acting performances are quite good, with very nice moments between Carell and his daughters. There is real subtlety here on all fronts, except maybe the somewhat literal music score, which was enjoyable all the same. Maybe the subtlety is why a lot of critics and moviegoers intitially dismissed this film. On further viewing, maybe they will change their minds. Or maybe they lack the heart and life experiences to recognize that, while not a masterpiece, Dan in Real Life is quite a gem. Expand
  65. BillyS.
    Nov 23, 2007
    6
    Dan in Real Life would have been a script Steve Martin would have turned down 10 years ago, instead we get Steve Carell trying to become an actor instead of a comedian in movies and he does show promise in what is essentially Parenthood 2. It's a nice little comedy that comes to life when Juliette Binoche is on screen, who doesn't do nearly enough American films, but always Dan in Real Life would have been a script Steve Martin would have turned down 10 years ago, instead we get Steve Carell trying to become an actor instead of a comedian in movies and he does show promise in what is essentially Parenthood 2. It's a nice little comedy that comes to life when Juliette Binoche is on screen, who doesn't do nearly enough American films, but always radiates warmth and honesty in all her roles. Dianne Weist and John Mahoney are wasted in little roles and Dane Cook just wastes his role (He really needs to stick to stand up). Dan in Real Life is an enjoyable way to kill an hour and a half of your real life or you could save 10 bucks and do a crossword puzzle. Expand
  66. BunnyF.
    Nov 27, 2007
    8
    I felt the movie captured how life can be...felt very real. The family togetherness reminds me of my own family get togethers. Just a really fun film
  67. AaronS.
    Nov 3, 2007
    7
    Though predictable and unoriginal, this film offers a warm fuzzy feeling to moviegoers thanks to its abbreviated story-telling and lovable characters.
  68. Mandy
    Nov 30, 2007
    2
    I wish Hollywood could come up with more quality movies these days and not these mediocre flicks .. This is reallly a contrived, boring story. True you'll find worse movies but wish I had skipped this one
  69. TimC.
    Dec 22, 2007
    7
    This was a nice movie. Enjoyable even though it was quite unrealistic. Had some funny moments and Steve Carel and Binoche were both good. Dane Cook surprised me with a solid performance as well.
  70. JohnR.
    Oct 27, 2007
    2
    Horribe, horrible movie. If I'm on the fence about a movie, I usually read a review or two to see what other people think. I should have heeded the warnings of Dave White, but I went. It's all just an emotionally shallow family dramedy that only scrapes human emotion. Stay away!
  71. Bettyh.
    Oct 27, 2007
    8
    I so enjoyed this movie.....it is endearing. The characters oare human and likeable. Binoche glows. Carell's performance is another touching one with a vulnerability and depth similar to his performance in Little Miss Sunshine. The kids' performances are even very high quality. I laughed, I cried.....and thoroughly enjoyed this film.
  72. JimM
    Oct 29, 2007
    10
    Loved it! Definitely an adult-comedy.
  73. MaryL.
    Oct 29, 2007
    10
    This is the best romantic comedy I have seen in years. Although there are many laugh out loud moments, it is very subtle. The acting in superb and Steve Carell is amazing.
  74. ShellyW.
    Oct 31, 2007
    2
    It was very sappy;belongs on TV.
  75. EdwardK.
    Oct 31, 2007
    9
    I enjoyed it thoroughly -- more than I expected. The scene with Dan and Marie in the bowling alley went on too long, but the scene of Dan's brother trying to sing to Marie made up for it. Steve Carell did an excellent job.
  76. TomG.
    Mar 14, 2008
    4
    I have never been to bible camp but watching this movie made me feel as if I had. If I had to spend 1 hour with this family at their cabin I would hope that there were no sharp objects around because i would do myself in .Very undeserving of a 65 rating.
  77. MarioS.
    Mar 21, 2008
    4
    Nothing real about this movie: cliched, cloying and annoying. What is intended to be full of feeling and romantic comes across as idiotic and unlikely. And the movie is not funny! It's attempts to be so, in the shower scene for example, are pathetic. Binoche is the only bright spot but one ends up feeling sorry for her being stuck in this loser. Dan in Treacle land would be a better title.
  78. RobertI.
    Mar 22, 2008
    8
    filled with apercus about family life, it hits home again and again. Maybe many families in Real Life do not continue to live this way, but many do, or wish they did, and the script talks to them in a recognizable, almost painfully funny way. The director gets the family tone just right--and love is going to fall where it will, regardless.
  79. AmmonV.
    Mar 28, 2008
    9
    The only thing bad about this movie is Dane Cook.
  80. D'kotahG
    May 21, 2008
    1
    Terribly formulaic, two-dimensional characters. The dance/music scenes were excruciating. It felt like an 80's movie that everyone forgot about, justifiably. Carrell was Ok though. The "family" dynamic was entirely unrealistic. Not recommended for anyone who like good things.
  81. Hollys.
    Nov 12, 2007
    2
    It was one of the most boring movies I've ever seen. The plot was practically nonexistent, and what small little IDEA of the plot they had they overused. There was practically an hour of nothing. I know the writer was trying to get a point across, but what point? It didn't show. I hated the movie.
  82. GretchenT
    Nov 17, 2007
    0
    Contrived. Nauseating. False. The worst thing to be said about this film is that Dane Cook was the most believable thing in it. At least Juliette Binoche is almost Steve Carell's age - so I guess that was refreshing.
  83. BridgetteL.
    Dec 13, 2007
    10
    This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Not only was it hilarious, but I loved the way it portrayed their particular family life. It was not your everyday typical comedy with crude humor.
  84. Apr 4, 2013
    8
    Dan in Real Life follows Dan Burns, an advice columnist who is also a widower in his own real life, and he gets himself into a very real dilemma.
    Steve Carell puts in another winning performance playing a not so comedic man that we are used to seeing as Dan, who is raising his three daughters after his wife has died.
    He is going with his daughters for an annual get together with his
    Dan in Real Life follows Dan Burns, an advice columnist who is also a widower in his own real life, and he gets himself into a very real dilemma.
    Steve Carell puts in another winning performance playing a not so comedic man that we are used to seeing as Dan, who is raising his three daughters after his wife has died.
    He is going with his daughters for an annual get together with his family at his mum and dads house. After growing apart from his daughters for various reasons, mainly playing the typical dad, he goes alone one morning for newspapers but we find him in a library, where in walks Marie (Juliette Binoche), a beautiful woman who Dan ends up spending the day with and getting to know each other very well, until Marie reveals that she is in a relationship, much to Dan's disappointment.
    He returns home to tell his family about this mysterious girl, only to find out that the man she is dating is none other than his brother, Mitch (Dane Cook).
    As the tensions starts to build with the two estranged lovers, various situations arise that are quite hard for Dan to bear, but this is all in all a very heartfelt and humorous film that doesn't disappoint.
    The story is very much about Dan and his troubles with being a single dad, contrary to certain critic reviews, this is very much done on purpose, to show the difficulties but possibly selfish remedies that Dan or many others in his position may do to solve what they perceive to be a difficult situation.
    The wider cast includes Alison Pill, John Mahoney and Dianne Wiest. This cast brings a sense of family security to the film, always being there for someone to rely on or for a shoulder to cry on, the closeness and chemistry shines through in a particular scene when Dan's mum and dad are trying to talk candidly with him when everyone invades which sets up quite a funny few minutes.
    Steve Carell proves that he can have a very different and very powerful presence on screen aside from comedy as he did in Little Miss Sunshine, his delivery is superb and definitely the standout of the film.
    Perhaps a little slow at only small points, this does add up to a very real, clean but dramatic film that is enjoyable for all ages, dealing with the difficulties of parenthood and family alike.
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  85. Aug 31, 2014
    6
    Despite numerous emotions thrown together all at once, Dan in Real Life is a curious look at life and family. Steve Carell proves to be much more than a simple television actor and surely much more than Michael Scott.
  86. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    The title explains why this is so good. It's about real life, and its fantastically wonderful and genuine.
  87. Dec 15, 2013
    10
    "You are a murderer of love!" This is a simple story that comes at you from a lot of angles which is uncoincidentally... real life. I felt so connected with Dan's frustrations. Such an easy movie to watch over and over again.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. 88
    Carell shows a whole new side to his talents.
  2. Provides Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche with comic roles that fit them like designer threads.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    80
    Deftly interlaces heart and humor in a witty, warm and well-observed comedy about the unexpected and inconvenient blooming of romance at the weekend gathering of an extended family.