Dan in Real Life

Rated 2.0

In a role that emotionally resembles his somber turn in Little Miss Sunshine, Steve Carell plays melancholy widower Dan, father to three girls and author of an advice column. During a family retreat at his parents’ home, he falls for a beautiful woman in a bookstore (Juliette Binoche), whom he later finds out is his brother’s (Dane Cook) new girlfriend. Carell struggles to rise above mediocre material, the same old Silly String of family getaway and romantic comedy clichés. It’s a shame because the dynamic between Carell and the actresses playing his daughters is fun. The movie could’ve been a fine depiction of a family losing its mother, but instead goes all silly. A decent movie about a dad trying to adjust after the loss of his wife could’ve been interesting. Instead, we get Dane Cook singing “Let My Love Open the Door,” a completely unnecessary ruination of a Pete Townshend song.