A widower and father of three who also writes a parenting advice column for his local newspaper falls for the girlfriend of his younger brother during a family vacation in director Peter Hedges' offbeat love-triangle laugher. Steve Carell stars as the writer who finds his widely known convictions put to the ultimate test, with Dane Cook and Juliette Binoche respectively assuming the roles of the younger sibling and his radiant girlfriend.
Steve Carell plays Dan, the writer of a parenting advice column for the local newspaper. He is the widowed father of three daughters and doesn't always follow his own advice. At a family reunion he meets a woman who, after just a couple of hours, he falls for, only to then discover that she is dating his younger brother.
Dan in Real Life balances the humour of such a situation with the drama that comes with falling for a family members girlfriend, raising children and coping with family members who are trying to get you back into the dating game. The three women playing his daughters each do a wonderful job and bring just as much to the film as any of the more well known actors.
This movie doesn't focus on a man grieving but instead upon a man trying to move forward, to raise his children well whilst dealing with the grief that is still in his heart. As a man who misses his wife terribly, finds love but must let it go, you really feel for Dan and hope that all will turn out well.
One of Steve Carell's best movies, he does drama well.
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"I really have a secret satisfaction in being considered rather mad."
W. Heath Robinson (1872 - 1944)