Dan In Real Life (Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
B+/C+ Sound: B-/C+ Extras: C Film: C
family film with some edge to it at times, Peter Hedges’ Dan In Real Life (2007) is a sometimes compelling, but
unfortunately predictable story of a widower (Steve Carell) with three
daughters who is at a crossroads in his life.
When he goes to visit his extended family for a get-together, he stops
at a bookstore where he meets a beautiful woman (Juliette Binoche) who lands up
talking with him for a few hours. The
meet cute comes to an end and that seems it.
gets back home, he discovers that she is the fiancée of his brother (Dane Cook,
sadly underused here) and he has to spend the weekend denying how much he likes
her. Is it vice versa? Is it going to lead to a fight? What will happen?
course, this is not a murder thriller, so expect the soft touch. I did like the actors, including John
Mahoney, Emily Blunt and Diane Wiest, but they are only given so much to do and
sadly, the screenplay (by Hedges and Pierce Gardner) is loaded with missed
opportunities because it thinks a “warm, fuzzy feeling” with a side of comedy
will pull this through, but it never works out that way. It is worth a look for the actors, but
replayability is very narrow at best.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is not bad on the Blu-ray despite enough
little flaws throughout to stop the picture from being cleaner. It is shot with some softness because of the
nature of the narrative, but Director of Photography Lawrence Sher keeps it
interesting enough by making the actors look good. The anamorphically enhanced DVD is weak by
comparison with poor Video Black and detail limits to match. The PCM 48/24 5.1 sound mix is nice and
clean, but this is a quite, dialogue based comedy/drama, so don’t expect too
much form the sound, but it is well recorded enough, which you can tell by from
the subtle points picked up. The Dolby
Digital 5.1 mixes on both formats are weaker and never impress much.
include “real-life” outtakes, Handmade
Music: Creating The Score, Just Like
Family making of featurette and commentary by Director Hedges on deleted
scenes and a full-length audio commentary track.
- Nicholas Sheffo