Dan in Real Life (2007)

Pieces of April is a beautiful movie about family relationships, grace, and forgiveness. When I heard that the writer/director was making another film, I got excited. As I watched Dan in Real Life, I discovered that this was not going to be a repeat success.

Straight-laced widower dad Dan endeavors to communicate common sense to his three daughters and to readers in his column. He's knocked over by a beautiful woman and left in an awkward situation while at a Thanksgiving family retreat. There are some situational comedic scenes and a joie de vivre in the family atmosphere with the underlying tension as to whether Dan will act out on his irrational desires.

Dan in Real Life lacks a tenderness and realism that appeared in Pieces of April. The writing is too formulaic and the tension between characters too 'talk showish.' That isn't to say that the film isn't enjoyable, it just isn't moving.

Truth: While structure and common sense are extremely important, it is the surprise, spontaneity, and wildness of love that brings joy to life.

Official Site | IMDB

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