Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dan in Real Life (2007)

Dan in Real Life. Film Review. Never thought i'm going to say it to this kind of film. Not recently, anyway. But i actually liked it. And it's been quite a while since i saw this kind of film found its way to touch my soft-side.

Dan (Steve Carell) is a widower blessed with three daughters. His wife has been dead for four years, and he never sought replacement albeit with the encouragements from his family (not his daughters, though). And of course, as a widower, the only male in the family with three daughters, two of which has grown into an adolescence territory, he was portrayed as what his youngest daughter herself pointed out to him, as "a good father, but sometimes a bad dad". One day, on their annual fall season family gathering, he met Marie (Juliette Binoche) and he felt something he hasn't really felt after the death of his wife. However, things got rather complicated when later he found out that Marie is actually his brother, Mitch's (Dane Cook) new girlfriend, whom he took to the annual family gatering. And naturally, everyone in his family loved her good-natured persona.

For a little more than ninety minutes, this family film surprisingly touches many aspects in the family. Or at least those that surrounds Dan's. It made me think to make a special category of films in 2007 that were so unknown but clearly deserving more exposure. I was skeptical at first, because the film's poster and Steve Carell presence that seemingly at first, hinted a sell-out comedy from the comedian, one slapstick comedy that doesn't rely on much except for Steve's comic and star-status. Much like what had happened to Jim Carrey after his initial success. But, in a much lesser degree, Steve Carell did to this film as Jim Carrey did to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (of course, since the latter film by Jim Carrey easily fit into one of the best film i've seen of all time, it's real though bastard to beat). A film that didn't sell-out their comedic and star-status, a film that actually had meanings, sweet and enjoyable.

For most of the part, this film worked so well because the chemistry between Dan and Marie was very believable that they don't even have to say a single word to made us believe and rooting for them that they should be together in the end.

However, even though that this film revolves around Dan, i felt that Dan was just something in a background. Things and people that move around and in front of him catches more of my attention than him. His three daughters for instance, his mother and father, his siblings, even his brother Mitch. It would seems to me that even if the film bears his character name as its title, Steve Carell, in a sense felt like a mere supporting actor in a great ensemble of cast that albeit the film didn't really offers something new entirely, managed to keep the juicing flow in an excellent pace, keep it interesting and more importantly, keep it relevant until the end. And, to end the film in a high note, i love the soundtracks (which mostly courtesy of Sondre Lerche).

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hawe said...

salam kenal...

nice reading your blog, terutama movie review-nya. mungkin perlu ditambah rating-nya kali ya, biar bisa jadi prior judgement on why you like or dislike the movie you're reviewing.

oia, gw suka film ini. nice soundtrack too, meski gak terlalu kenal dgn Sondre Lerche sebelumnya. memorable scene-nya pas waktu dia main gitar di family talent show. setuju??

Rhama Arya Wibawa said...

Halo juga, sebenernya dulu punya sistem rating. Tapi, takut menimbulkan inkonsistensi akhirnya di-abandon deh untuk sementara.

But, the rating system will be back. Sekarang sih lagi dikumpulin archive-nya buat determinasi sistem rating yg terbaik yg merefleksikan taste pribadi.