Between Brothers
Dan in Real Life
Review by Ross Anthony

I'm a Steve Carell fan. I quite enjoyed Evan Almighty. Although, I wasn't that crazy about 40-Year-Old Virgin. As Dan in real life, Carell is a much quieter version of himself – sort of a like the subtler side that Will Ferrell showed in Stranger than Fiction.

Steve's performance here is solid. In fact, the whole cast right down to the supporting characters come to real life. And kudos to the direction -- it's not easy to get a bunch of actors together in a coastal home and make them feel like real family. Well done. Moreover, most of the production is top notch. After the first 20 minutes, I thought I might be watching one of the best films of the year. Then comes the painful flaw.

As not to spoil, I'll write in generalities. The first major complication/twist surprised me as a bit soapy, but given the high quality thus far, I trusted the production to impress me despite. Instead, it disappointed me with the cliché B-movie response to that complication -- the classic "keep a secret that so obviously can't be kept" method of entertainment. Maybe it's me. But I detest this method of creating a silly tension that's supposed to carry the viewer through the bulk of a creative piece. Nor, can even Carell spin it in a new light. The film's momentum stalls up to and including a rather weak climax and even weaker resolution.

It's a pity the plot sank this ship. There was so much working so well here.

-- Book Contest --

  • Dan in Real Life. Copyright © 2007.
  • Starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Alison Pill, Brittany Robertson, Marlene Lawston, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney.
  • Directed by Peter Hedges.
  • Screenplay by Pierce Gardner, Peter Hedges.
  • Produced by Jon Shestack, Brad Epstein at Touchstone/Focus Features.

Grade..........................B- (1.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Thursday, 25-Oct-2007 10:25:45 PDT