Dan in Real Life

Rated 3.0

If nothing else, Dan in Real Life is a nice change of pace from the current crop of romantic comedies that seem cut from the same template; of a man or men behaving like total oafs for 80 percent of the running time, until the third act when the love of a good woman returns them to the womb. Not to say that the movie is classic—it’s manipulative and only sorta funny. But not really laugh-out-loud funny. Steve Carell (40 Year Old Virgin) makes a break from the gross-out comedy stable as an author raising a family of young girls who meets cute with Juliette Binoche in a bookstore. He’s immediately smitten because, well … it’s Juliette Binoche. The complication is that she’s seeing his brother (Dane Cook). But since it’s Dane Cook, there’s really no suspense how this one will turn out. Carell and Binoche make for a likable pairing (itself rare in these things) and it never descends completely into treacle, so not that intolerable.