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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Dan in Real Life”

(Touchstone. 1 hour 38 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some innuendo. 1 Disc. Widescreen. Directed by Peter Hedges.) Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, John Mahoney, Emily Blunt, Dianne Wiest, Amy Ryan, Norbert Leo Butz. Music by Sondre Lerche.

Pleasant comedy/drama lets Carell stretch a bit. He plays an advice columnist and widower who’s having typical trouble with his three growing daughters. While visiting his parents and brother, he meets and falls for Binoche – but doesn’t know she just started dating his bro (Cook). It was nice to see French actress Binoche, now 44, still being regarded as desirable. Mahoney and Wiest are the only-slightly off-kilter parents. Blunt shows up as a blind date for Carell; Ryan’s the wisecracking sister. I never would have put Carell and Binoche together in a million years, but they have some tender scenes and manage to stay a bit above the contrivance of the plot. I thought Carell was still too early in his career to be working the Steve Martin beleaguered-father roles, but well…he’s 46. Video extras include commentary with director Hedges, deleted scenes and outtakes, plus a featurette on the soundtrack and original songs by Lerche.