Dan in Real Life

  • Review Date: March 10, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Love hurts in predictable rom com. OK for teens.
  • Review Date: March 10, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Dan gets several tickets and has his license revoked for poor driving. He flirts with his brother's girlfriend. Dan and Marie lie about their attraction. The family makes up a song making fun of how a woman looked in grade school. Cara uses an anti-gay slur in passing. Eventually, Dan learns to be honest and trustworthy.

Violence

Some comic pratfalls, including Dan falling out a second-story window and getting hit in the face with a football. Mitch punches Dan. Dan backs into a police car.

Sex

Cara makes out with her boyfriend. Marie undresses and gets in the shower with a (clothed) Dan (only her bare shoulders are visible). Clay makes veiled references to masturbation. Dan and Marie kiss.

Language

One use each of "damn" and "f--k." Cara says something is "so queer."

Consumerism

Dan mentions the TV show Bonanza.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some wine drinking by adults, but no one gets drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this Steve Carell comedy is fairly tame overall, it does include some violence, innuendo, and other iffy behavior (Dan and Marie share a shower, they lie to Dan's family, and Dan flirts with Marie inappropriately in front of his whole family). Dan also gets a black eye and a broken nose and is in a minor car accident. A mother's death is mentioned, and a teenager lies to her father about dating a boy (he sneaks up to make out with her on the family vacation). One character makes jokes about "self-love" and "unclogging the pipes," which may lead tweens to ask about sex and masturbation. Language includes one use of "f--k."

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Four years after his beloved wife's death, newspaper columnist Dan (Steve Carell) is devoted to their three daughters, but the teen girls are quickly moving out of his control. Cara (Brittany Robertson) is in love for the first time and lies to her father about it, sneaking off to smooch her new fella. Parent-ified Jane (Alison Pill) is 17 and ready to drive, and Lilly (Marlene Lawston) is sick of being coddled. As Dan's father (John Mahoney) aptly remarks when Dan says his children hate him, "You must be doing something right." After arriving at his parents' home for a mythically happy family reunion, Dan meets and falls for Marie (Juliette Binoche). The problem? She's already spoken for -- by Dan's hyper, self-involved brother, Mitch (Dane Cook). Will Dan be able to keep his feelings to himself?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

DAN IN REAL LIFE is a romantic comedy convinced that misery and self-abdication are the true signs of love. It's a typical movie message, but maybe not a good one for teens who already make a habit of dramatic suffering. So it's a good thing the movie is well-done and warm-hearted. Yes, it's predictable and unrealistic, but it aims for a kind of "human comedy," as Marie announces on first meeting Dan. The film does have other types of funny as well, including guffaw-worthy moments mostly surrounding some great lines your kids may end up repeating back to you.

Director Peter Hedges uses his cast to great effect: Cook stays occupied with outlandish songs and aerobics routines, and Carell hams it up dancing and gets in a few fun one-liners, too. The young actors all pull their own weight, and Mahoney and the renowned Dianne Wiest provide the perfect backdrop to the film as Dan's content parents. It may not exactly be real life, but Dan in Real Life is ultimately a fun way to spend two hours with your family.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between how love is portrayed in movies and how it is in real life. Why do you think so many movies pair depression and misery with love? Is it funny to watch romantic movies like that? Why or why not? How fun do you think it would be to actually be in a relationship like that? In this movie, Dan and Marie lie about their attraction and end up hurting a lot of people. Remind kids that anyone you have to hide or lie to your family about probably isn't the right person for you.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 25, 2007
DVD release date:March 10, 2008
Cast:Dane Cook, Juliette Binoche, Steve Carell
Director:Peter Hedges
Studio:Focus Features
Genre:Comedy
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some innuendo.

This review of Dan in Real Life was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bytootoolvr14 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Could have been PG

The review said the f bomb was used once. I did not hear it used. if it was it was whispered under someone's breath. And I didn't hear the d word either. Usually i flinch when I hear bad language. Sorry I'm a prude. But I think it could have been rated PG. Take out the 2 words I didn't hear and Marie's bare back (OMG how awful, kids see worse on ABC Family) and this movie could be a solid PG. Loved it anyway. Big 8 Simple Rules fan so i liked this too.
Parent Written bysupermom64 January 23, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Appropriate for all ages, better for 10 and over

This was a good movie. The overall message was good. The conflict resulting from the two brothers unwittingly falling for the same woman is a sophisticated subject for kids, but is tastefully handled. Their is a lot of humor and family fun and togetherness in the movie. Some teen rebellion between the main character who is an overprotective widow and his teenage daughters. The movie depicts positive family relationships that in the end are what help to reslove the conflict.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bykelly_94 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

OMJ

SO i went to see this movie with my two closest friends and it was great. It was a little sad becuase they explain that their mother died and they all tear up. It was a great romance and I wish that I could've taken my boyfirned. A lot of the things that Dan(steve Carrel) did are things my dad would do. ( my dad is married to my mom and my mom is still alive) but i mean he would definetly spy on me in the coffee shop until my beau kissed me, embarres me, not let me drive, send my beau home from a trip that he snuck up to, and a lot of the material if very funny. I definetly reccomd this movie. I want to go see it again and then buy it. Hope this review helped.

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