Dan in Real Life Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 154 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Advice columnist Dan Burns is an expert on relationships, but struggles to succeed as a brother a song and a single parent. (Touchstone Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Dan in Real Life fires on so many circuits that at times it's actually shocking how good it is.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    A smart, sweet, and thoroughly disarming ensemble comedy that isn't afraid to wear its humanism on its sleeve.
  3. 75
    If the film has a flaw, and I'm afraid it does, it's the Sondre Lerche songs on the soundtrack. They are too foregrounded and literal, either commenting on the action or expounding on associated topics. In such a laid-back movie, they're in our face.
  4. Almost reflexively, the filmmakers skirt Dan's messier conflicts. But it is the moments when they don't dance around the awkward issue of a brother falling for his brother's girl that Dan is the most poignant.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    A small but sweetly formed comedy of romantic misfortune that can’t quite keep Hollywood at bay.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    There's a great movie to be had in the notion of a busybody whose advice keeps blowing up in his face, but Dan in Real Life merely sets it up and walks away.
  7. I could see people enjoying Dan in Real Life, I guess -- the scenery is nice and the people are pretty and the songs are cute little emotion substitutes. But Dan? Buddy? It's not all about you.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 87
  2. Negative: 28 out of 87
  1. Shannon
    Feb 7, 2009
    I loved it! Great storyline, clean humor, very heartfelt... definitely one to add to the family collection.
  2. Tim
    Nov 1, 2007
    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. Expand
  3. AmmonV.
    Mar 28, 2008
    The only thing bad about this movie is Dane Cook.
  4. BrittanyH.
    Oct 30, 2007
    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
  5. ColeM
    Jul 9, 2009
    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. Expand
  6. AnneM
    Apr 14, 2008
    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. Expand
  7. EllenK.
    Oct 27, 2007
    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

See all 87 User Reviews