A big family get-together is planned at Dan's parents' home in Rhode Island. Dad won't let Jane drive the family car there because he thinks she drives unsafely; Dad physically removes Cara from the lips of her boyfriend and tells her she can't see him. Only Lilly is still speaking to him at this point. Needless to say, by the time they arrive at the grandparents' home, things are quite chilly with the girls. Dan's mom, Nana (Dianne Wiest) sends Dan off on an errand, basically to get him away from the house and the girls. He stops in a book store/tackle shop and begins to browse. There, he meets Marie (Juliette Binoche), a woman seeking the perfect book. They immediately hit it off and end up chatting for a long time over coffee. Marie gets a call and must dash off, revealing she is already in a new relationship (presumably the caller). She gives her number to Dan and tells him to call her anyway. Dan, in a daze, runs a stop sign. His exchange with the cop, whom he will meet up with several more times, is pretty funny. How many times have you wanted to say, "Put it on my tab," to a cop in that affable way Steve Carell delivers lines?
When he arrives back at the house, he starts to tell his brothers about this amazing girl he met, when in she walks. Marie, or Annie as Mitch (Dane Cook) calls her, is Dan's brother's new girlfriend! Remember when I said Dan is the kind of guy that stuff happens to? Prime example. What happens next is a comedy of errors, with Marie and Dan clearly drawn to one another, but neither wanting to hurt Mitch. As the weekend progresses, its clear that Dan's daughters love Marie and really connect with her, like that makes things any easier.
Soon Nana has set Dan up a blind date with the daughter of an old friend, a girl Dan knew as a child. Ruthie "Pig-face" Draper. Mitch offers that he and Marie will double date to take the edge off. Oh boy. But Ruthie (Emily Blunt) has grown up into a lovely plastic surgeon and she and Dan have a great time, while Marie sits stewing on the bar stool. Dan tries to forget her by dancing with Ruthie, but he can't shake Marie.
This is a recipe for disaster, any way you slice it, but Dan in Real Life is absolutely hysterical. The movie is filled with awkward moments and Dan gets quite the life lesson from his family and Marie. Of course, it has a wonderfully happy ending and really is a terrific feel-good movie. It's funny to see Steve Carell in a dramatic role, because he is in this movie, but yet he is really, really funny as well. There are deleted scenes, outtakes, a making-of featurette and a piece on the original music for this film, which was all written and performed by Sondre Lerche and is perfectly fitting for the mood of the movie. While it isn't necessary to see Dan in Real Life in its Blu-ray high def gorgeousness, it does provide the optimal viewing experience. There are some nice scenes of the scenery of Rhode Island and such. However, it is necessary for you to see Dan in Real Life, regardless of which format you select. It's must-see stuff, whether you are a fan of Carell or not.