Dan In Real Life

Dan In Real Life / 2008 Buena Vista Home Entertainment / 98 Minutes / http://www.video.com /

Individuals in comedy, such as Will Ferrell have distinctive features but change up their hairstyles, behaviors, and even looks for each role that they are in. It seems as if Steve Carell has found eirself in a specific role. I don’t know if I would call it a form of typecasting, but there definitvely seems to be the same general look and approach to Carell’s characters, whether it be in “The Office” or “The 40 Year Old Virgin”. Dan In Real Life may just be the movie that begins to break Carell free of this similar role. Sure, there are moments during Dan In Real life where it seems as if Carell is clueless about the true state of the world, but this is done in a way that individuals could conceivably identify with, rather than being the absurdist situation in which Carell gets eirself into in prior roles.

The constellation of actors and actresses in which Carell finds eirself makes for a stronger outing as well; with individuals such as Dianne West, Dan Cooke, John Mahoney and Juliette Binoche present, the money can move from serious to comedy and back again without seeming that it is trying to do too much. Where the movie does fit into the style that provides a lot of humor at the beginning and gradually moves into a more nuanced, romantic type of film by the end, the plot ((where a successful advice columnist, single, with three children, falls for eir brother’s girlfriend) highlights all the strengths while not dwelling on the weaknesses of that sub-genre.

The DVD itself is chock-full of extra features, to ensure that individuals stick with the movie for well after their first few viewings. Aside the standard presentation of the outtakes and deleted scenes, the documentary “Just Like Family” (detailing the creation of the movie) provides information that would not be readily acceptable to those individuals that only saw the movie. Couple that with a documentary about the creation of the movie’s score (“Handmade Music” and commentary by the writer/director Peter Hedges, and individuals will be able to keep the dust off of this DVD. Where individuals may like the caricature of a manager that Carell plays in “The Office”, Dan In Real Life may just be that movie that will allow Carell to really expand the amount of roles that ey can play. Hopefully the wardrobe and the hairstyle will be next.

Rating: 7.0/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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