Dan in Real Life


Dan in Real Life

Critics Consensus

The fine performances elevate Dan in Real Life beyond its sentimental plot.



Total Count: 169


Audience Score

User Ratings: 385,492
User image

Watch it now

Dan in Real Life Photos

Movie Info

Widowed father and family-advice columnist Dan Burns, who is reeling from the heartache of loss, takes refuge by trying to maintain order with his three rebellious young girls, while dodging anything unexpected or outside the box. But when Dan heads to Rhode Island, his miffed daughters in tow, for the annual fall weekend thrown by the large and boisterous Burns family, everything changes. Soon after his arrival, he runs into an alluring woman named Marie in a bookshop. For the first time in a very, very long time, Dan experiences real, live sparks--only to have to douse them liberally when he discovers Marie is, in fact, the brand-new girlfriend that his brother Mitch is about to proudly introduce to the family. As the weekend gets underway in the close quarters of a crowded house filled with quirky, prying relatives, Dan and Marie try to squelch and cover up their growing mutual attraction at every turn, leading to one comical situation after another. Yet, no matter how hard they try to do the very opposite, Dan and Marie can't help but fall in love. Now, Dan is about to realize that no matter how wise safety might seem, when it comes to real life, he's going to have to break all the rules.


Steve Carell
as Dan Burns
Dane Cook
as Mitch
Emily Blunt
as Ruthie Draper
Amy Ryan
as Eileen
Frank Wood
as Howard
C.J. Adams
as Elliott Burns
Jessica Lussier
as Jessica Burns
Felipe Dieppa
as Marty Barasco
Bernie McInerney
as James Lamson
Amy Landecker
as Cindy Lamson
Steve Mellor
as Bookstore Clerk
Pauline Gregory
as Bowling Alley Manager
Shana Carr
as Suzanne Burns
Nicole Morin
as Jane (Age 13)
Charlotte Davies
as Cara (Age 11)
Zoe Paulkis
as Lilly (Age 4)
Lucas Hedges
as Lilly's Dance Partner
Sondre Lerche
as Sondre Lerche
Kato Ådland
as Wedding Band Guitar Player
Ole Ludvig Krüger
as Wedding Band Drummer
Morten Skage
as Wedding Band Bass Player
Marci Occhino
as Wedding Singer
Michael Peavey
as Helicopter Pilot
View All

News & Interviews for Dan in Real Life

Critic Reviews for Dan in Real Life

All Critics (169) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (109) | Rotten (60)

Audience Reviews for Dan in Real Life

  • Feb 16, 2014
    "Dan in Real Life" is enjoyable - stories about falling love usually are. Not every movie needs to have the complications of "Hamlet".
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • May 26, 2012
    the cast do there best and its carell who elevates this above the run of the mill single parent routine. much better then expected and quite humerous at times
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2011
    Dan In Real Life is about a widower named Dan who lives with his daughters, who he devotes his life to. But one day he meets a woman named Marie at a bookstore. They eat lunch, get to know each other, and eventually become attracted to one another. But what Dan does not know is that Marie is actually dating his brother.This film centers on the relatives of Dan, and never is the film centered on anything but family. Because of this, the film sticks to its theme like glue and never backs away from it. From starting and to finish, family is what is being centered upon. When chemistry begins with Dan and Marie, discussion of family is being played through they're conversations. For example: When Dan tells Marie that he lost his wife, and when he tells her that his daughters do not seem to like him as much as they use to, family is being centered on. When Dan is invited on a date with Rachel (also known as Rachel Piggyface) he is actually having a double-date with his brother and Marie. Most films nowadays do not seem to maintain their theme as well as this one does, which is a very positive compliment towards this review. It's actually sad to see how Dan likes Marie so much, yet she is dating his brother but thankfully the film manages to maintain a happy theme, even when things are doleful. Another positive impact about this movie is that the cast blends in with each other perfectly. These actors and actresses connect with each other like a real family, even though their just acting. Steve Carrel plays Dan, which is good because his personality brings both humor and charm in every second that he is being shown. But despite all of these things, at the end of the film everything comes out too predictable. Satesfying, but still predictable. However, this is a great film that deals with the hardships in which families go through, the pain that love can bring, and the pleasures in which can life offer.
    Emmanuel T Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2011
    Dan in Real Life suffers the usual family comedy film with overbearing clichés from many other films that came before it. I thought that this film was a wasted opportunity to make a film that would have great comedic bits, and be overall a fun, entertaining comedy. However, I found myself mostly bored with this, and not laughing all that much. I thought that Steve Carrell, who is usually really funny, was wasted here and that the rest of the cast just didn't cut it. I thought that Dan in Real Life could have been much better than this, and I felt that the jokes could have been better. Steve Carrell, like I said is wasted here, and I don't even know why this film has Dane Cook in it, aside from his role in Waiting, he's not funny as a comedian and actor. The film started with potential, and it was funny at times, but unfortunately, by the final act, everything including the jokes fall apart, and the film ends up being a total waste of time. I think this film could have been better if the screenwriters would have put a bit more effort into the script. After a while, the film becomes predictable, and you know what will happen next. As a viewer, you lose interest and end up not caring what happens next because we've seen it a hundred times before. This comedy leaves a lot to be desired and overall, it's boring, and I just couldn't get into it. I think that this film could have been better, but it was not to be. Not one of Steve Carrell's best.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

Dan in Real Life Quotes

News & Features