Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dan in Real Life

I have never watched the television series, The Office. I've seen commercials for it and it doesn't really interest me. But I love Steve Carell movies. He brings a real vulnerability and genuineness to the characters he portrays.

I hesitated for a long time before I watched the 40-Year-Old Virgin, but, after I finally broke down and watched it, I thought it was funny. I liked Evan Almighty, but for different reasons which I won't get into now. I doubt seriously that I will bother with Get Smart. I didn't think the television series was funny, so I figure why bother with the movie.

Dan in Real Life was my favorite. The story is about Dan Burns (Steve Carell), a newspaper columnist, widower and father to three young daughters, Jane (about 16), Cara (14), and Lily (a 4th grader). Dan takes his family on a trip to his parents home for an annual family get together. Cara doesn't want to go because she doesn't want to leave her boyfriend, with whom she says she fell in love in just three days. But Dan insists that it's not possible to fall in love in three days, and he makes her go.

There is, of course, the obligatory parallel story of Dan falling for his brother's new girlfriend and how they try to deny their feelings for each other while in such close proximity. That part is funny, too.

For me, the funniest part of the movie is when Cara's boyfriend shows up at Dan's parents' home and, in front of the entire family, Dan sends him home, leaving Cara to chase the car down the driveway after him, sobbing. She stops as the car turns away onto the road, Cara turns and throws herself on the grass and screams at her father through her tears, "You're a murderer !!.... of love !!"

To me, there is just something so precious and pure yet so comical about the intensity of a 14 year old's feelings, sensibilities and perspective and her father's awkwardness and mild exasperation in dealing with them. I really relate to this guy.

Okay, maybe you just have to watch it for yourself. I hope you do.


gina said...

That's my fave line of the whole movie too :)

I think Steve C is hilarious..although movies like the 40 year old Virgin make me uncomfortable because of the language and content. I think he should stick to movies like Dan in Real Life.


Terri said...

Gina: My favorite scene in 40-Year-Old-Virgin was when he was getting his back hair waxed. I thought I was going to wet myself laughing so hard.