Dan in Real Life is a comedy of faith that, in its wised-up feel-good way, restores yours.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Dan in Real Life is neither wildly farcical nor mockingly cruel, but rather, for the most part, winningly gentle and observant.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
It's amiable enough, but the ickiness levels are too high and Juliette Binoche always looks uncomfortable in this shallow-end material.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Why must so many family-friendly romantic comedies give us such wan, forgettable dialogue and predictable situations? Dan is derivative at best, and feels like filmmaking by focus group at worst.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The kind of sentimental, patently false romantic pandering whose idea of resolving a scene is for everyone to engage in some cute form of eccentric group activity.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Dan in Real Life lacks the nerve of genuine storytelling. It's for moviegoers who would have preferred Little Miss Sunshine if that movie hadn't been so gosh-darn dark.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
One could fill this entire space with the titles of films from which writer-director Peter Hedges nicks his story.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
Sweet it is. Remotely connected to real life, however, it is not.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
No sooner than you're stirred by something surprising or genuinely sweet, you're shaken by another piece of shtick.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Dan in Real Life is an enjoyable if curious creature, a naturalistic ensemble comedy wed to a high-flown sitcom premise. It's infused with a warm optimism that prevails even through the drama's thornier patches.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
There are some loud moments and big laughs.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A low-key, highly agreeable charmer.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The setup of this comedy by director-cowriter Peter Hedges and some subsequent twists may be contrived, and the laughs aren't very plentiful, but much of the behavior seems real, and the able cast makes the most of it.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Almost reflexively, the filmmakers skirt Dan's messier conflicts. But it is the moments when they don't dance around the awkward issue of a brother falling for his brother's girl that Dan is the most poignant.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
For all its by-the-numbers plotting, Dan in Real Life is winningly good-natured and funny.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The previews make Dan in Real Life look like a tepid romantic comedy that makes little use of Steve Carell's gifts. Well, the previews are right.
Tom Long - Detroit News
To call this feel-good comedy conservative is to cede 'family values' to the realm of politics, which, despite a vague NPR-ishness to the characters, is something Real Life refuses to do.
Kerry Lengel - Arizona Republic
Gracefully understated and thoroughly engaging.
Joe Leydon - Variety
One character says she's looking for something 'not necessarily hahaha laugh-out-loud funny, something human funny,' and that's what we get.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
The heart is there, and the message gets you.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
A movie nicely packed with pleasantly unpredictable surprises.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
In the end, the commercial necessity of wrapping up a family comedy in less than 100 minutes seems to have trumped anything real about Dan's life.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
There's nothing groundbreaking about Dan in Real Life -- it's a picture that could have been made 10 or 20 years ago -- and yet its easygoing, affable nature is exactly what makes it pleasurable.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Beneath its aw-shucks, wants-to-be-liked exterior, this is a bankrupt motion picture. It's cloying, artificial, and not the least bit romantic.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
While not a perfect comedy, Dan is certainly a crowd-pleasing, cleverly engineered and well-executed divertissement that should put grins on the faces of movie fans of many ages and execs at Disney and Focus Features.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
A surprisingly plain, sappy, even insipid comedy, considering the filmmaker behind it.
David Germain - Associated Press
Now, everybody knows that Steve Carell is lovable.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
The plot tickles sitcom, but the film is a winner because Carell and Binoche follow Hedges' lead and keep it real. Sharing their company really is a pleasure.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
If what you want is a star-driven sophisticated romantic comedy that is successfully aimed at actual adults, the wait can seem like forever. Until now.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
David Fear - Time Out
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out
A charming, though occasionally off-target -- and consistently tempo-challenged -- romantic comedy.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
The most cloying family meeting since A Very Brady Christmas
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Una comedia romantica muy menor, predecible e intrascendente que desaprovecha por completo el talento de un buen elenco. Una lastima.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
What's wrong with Steve Carrell? His is one of the quickest falls from comedy to crap since Chevy Chase.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
A creature made of gingerbread and hugs.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
I prefer a little more dysfunction in my dysfunctional family comedies.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Carell and Binoche are great fun to watch, doing just what the movie requires (not much, as scripted by Pierce Gardner and director Peter Hedges) and then some.
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
Carell seems to be at his best when he is put in awkward situations and is forced to make a fool out of himself, and there are plenty of those moments in Dan in Real Life.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
Alas, [Hedges'] forays behind the camera with Pieces of April and now Dan in Real Life indicate he's got Sundance intentions but a Hallmark Channel soul.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Writer/ director Peter Hedges likes to touch on deeper emotional truths, but he doesn't have the courage to really probe his characters' struggles in a meaningful way.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Because it touches on the universal themes of loss and love so honestly, it is a film that feels authentic even in its many contrivances.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
...ultimately succumbs to an egregious emphasis on inauthentic elements...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
didn't really get it
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
I wound up enjoying most of what I saw, despite its familiarity and predictability. The film's got a good heart.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
It attempts to take a Three's A Company situation and mix it together with a widower trying to raise three children. This is not cool.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Okay for forgiving romance fans, and a maybe-see for the rest of us.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Dan in Real Life is a film willing to admit that love is messy and that family, no matter how strained, is still the most perfect cauldron within which to ferment all those things that make life worth living...
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
It's hilarious and painful as only real situations can be, and Hedges directs his excellent cast, with sensitivity and wry humour.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
It's hard for a film like this not to come off as too sweet, but this grown up comedy manages in making it a real gem.
Simon Thompson - Heart 106.2
Writer-director Peter Hedges ('Pieces of April') maintains a perfect balance between the comedy and the romance.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
entyposiaka prosgeiomeno kai pisteyto (sto megalytero meros toy toylahiston), me mia epistrosi glykopikroy glassoy panta paroysa, na kalyptei tis elleipseis stoys arhetypikoys perifereiakoys haraktires kai tis sporadikes symbatikes eksarseis toy eidoys
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
An off-centre rom-com with unlikely stars, this indie drama is neither too funny nor too romantic in its balance of laughs and tenderness. The perfect date movie for middle-aged romantics (and we mean that as a compliment).
Jamie Russell - Film4
Smoothly entertaining fare, but with a bit more nerve it could have been so much more.
Trevor Johnston - Time Out
Touching, tender and laugh-out-loud funny, this little rom-com will melt your heart then rebuild it afresh. It's so warm and inviting, you'll want to spend a week in its company. But you only get 99 minutes. Treasure them.
Jamie Russell - Total Film
It's the unlikely chemistry between Binoche and Carell coupled with Carell's impeccable comic timing (watch out for the shower scene) that keeps you glued to the screen.
Catherine Chambers - BBC
A small but sweetly formed comedy of romantic misfortune that can't quite keep Hollywood at bay.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
As the author of 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape?', writer-director Hedges knows how to tell a story about kith and kin without smothering it in goo.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
About as riotous as gassing yourself during a wet weekend in Worksop.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Drips with sentimentality.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
Enjoyable, emotionally engaging and frequently hilarious comedy drama with a superb script and terrific performances from its ensemble cast.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
There is no mistaking Hedges' film for anything other than a saccharine corn-fest, but what keeps it from palling entirely is the strength of the ensemble performances, and the smartly understated writing.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
Carell is appealing and the family drama plays out as something real that sort of sneaks up on you in a good way.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Carell has continued to grow and mature as an actor.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Like a well-done Produce Pete sketch, Carell peels back layers of banality covering the bitterness underneath.
Stephen Himes - Film Snobs
Knowingly examines romance, parenthood, grief and betrayal, but succumbs slightly to simplistic sentimentality.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Romantic but gents, don't let this deter you - it's about a man, his journey, and his burdens, it's a story of a husband and a dad and a brother and a man who used to be someone's lover. Bring a date.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
In the movie world, these characters might have been interesting, but in real life, they were too one-dimensional to make you want them to find true love.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
The film is not just laid-back, it's nearly catatonic.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The plot depends on Marie playing an excruciating, thankless role. It's not original, but it certainly is depressing.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
It's hard not to enjoy a heartwarming movie, such as Dan in Real Life.
Emily S. Mendel - culturevulture.net
Ultimately it is Carell who grounds Dan in something close to real life.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Like the movie itself, Carell's performance doesn't really give you a reason to leave home, but if you find yourself watching it, you will be pleasantly surprised. To a degree.
Thomas Peyser - Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
Aside from Dan himself, nothing about the movie feels real.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Confuses charm with childishness and romance with the sort of endless yearning in a badly written teen diary. Then there's the misogyny . . . and after the film's family values syrup is tapped out, its WASPy judgmentalism remains.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
A multi-generational romantic comedy is a rare and precious thing to behold.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Am I a hypocrite? Sign me, Dan in Real Life.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
It's sadly just a mixed bag of hits and misses...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Steve Carell is the new Tom Hanks.
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
I came away thinking that it just might be the sweetest film of the year.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Entertainment Insiders
This is his [Carell's] most assured and rounded performance to date.
(CNN.com) Paul Clinton - CNN.com
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
Heartwarming, quirky and quietly affecting...the overall package is peppered with an easy-going dosage of reflective schmaltz...warm, inviting and actively spirited...
Frank Ochieng - World Voice News
Real Life? Nah--but the emotions are real.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Get him outside of "The Office," and Steve Carell is a lovable everyman.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
If these people actually existed, I'd suggest avoiding contact for fear of contracting terminal insipidity.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Eric Kohn - New York Press
The latest from Hedges is in places touching and funny but rarely in the course of its 95 minutes does it look anything remotely like real life.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
Love hurts in cute (if predictable) rom com.
Heather Boerner - Common Sense Media
'Dan in Real Life' showcases Steve Carell's talent for dry sarcasm, clownish physicality, vulnerability and officiousness.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
It's a nice film. There's some nice touches to it.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
This is one of those "feel good" movies that really does make you feel good.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
The fastest way to clear a theater!
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
the emotion is genuine and the humor is just sweet enough to leave you smiling.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
A sweet, affectionate and emotionally genuine venture into that complicated crossroads of family tribal conflict and found love, however unavailable that sexy creature might be.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
As a surprisingly engaging romantic comedy starring an unlikely romantic lead, Dan in Real Life warms your heart in all the right places. And makes you want to eat pancakes.
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
The laughter from the audience was sustained throughout the film.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
It's a clever idea for a romantic comedy that presents a credible obstacle for two modern, would-be lovers to maneuver around for 90 minutes.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
There's not an iota of pretense here, not the slightest hint of hipster irony or of cynicism. It's a movie about family, made by people who know about family, who believe in family.
Josh Hurst - Christianity Today
Hedges is not the most subtle of storytellers, but his sincerity shines through, as does a certain gentleness. Dan in Real Life is one of those films you cheer to succeed, even when it doesn't come close to real life.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
...not awful, but not up to the quality of the screwball comedies of the '30s and '40s...There are smiles where there could have been guffaws.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
[Carell's] uncanny ability to make us care what happens to him salvages Dan in Real Life.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
Neil Miller - Film School Rejects
Dan in Real Life is this year's Family Stone, a pleasant enough diversion -- especially if your own family is driving you crazy -- but quickly forgotten.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
[I]f you can manage to get through Dan in Real Life without falling madly in love with both Binoche and Carell... then you're a better man than I am, Charlie Brown.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Smart, funny, character-based romantic comedy that's full of good surprises.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
Imagine what it would take to make an audience prefer Dane Cook over Steve Carell, then double it.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Mostly the laughs are based in behavior and character. Carell once again displays the range that makes him something more than just another funny guy. Binoche is so appealing that you immediately understand why Dan has been smitten.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Carell plays it fairly straight in a movie that hits high on the scales of comedy and romance, with just a dollop of dramatic reality. It's almost as if he were playing, well, real life.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
Nearly every scene feels true, as if lifted directly from your own family reunion.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
A sweet, mildly quirky romcom.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
Carell can't rescue this sometimes-charming romantic comedy from its real problems.
Todd Gilchrist - IGN Movies
A smart and sassy romantic comedy about two people who are surprised by love and forced to navigate its tricky waters in a large extended family setting.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Finally a really smart, really funny movie about the ups and downs of life, love and family.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
Add in a terrific soundtrack of original songs by singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche, and "Dan in Real Life" is an unexpected and very welcome treat, a crowd-pleasing mainstream comedy with the soul of an indie.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Dan in Real Life wants desperately to be loved. It includes a few laughs...but with all its cloying, tone-deaf attempts at genuine emotional warmth, all it really deserves is to be avoided.
Chris Kaltenbach - Baltimore Sun
Dan In Real Life is neither bad nor particularly good. It's simply more disposable, soon to be forgotten, entertainment.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"Dan in Only-in-the-Movies Life" would have been an awkwardly long title, but it would have been a lot more appropriate.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
Dave White - Movies.com
Hedges imparts, in the space of an hour and a half, a real sense of this family's history -- its rituals and its resilience.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
Carell makes it worthwhile (Dane Cook almost makes it not worthwhile).
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Dan in Real Life fires on so many circuits that at times it's actually shocking how good it is. It tells a funny and emotional story without any of the sentimental shorthand found in most romantic comedies.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
The film portrays how good will is much harder to handle than evil.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
A bit more convincingly portrayed bitterness, though, would have made the movie's laughs all sweeter in contrast.
Brent Simon - FilmStew.com
A mediocre and unbelievable romantic comedy.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Dan in Real Life isn't about real life. This is reel life, Hollywood's heightened-reality take on what might go on at a large family gathering where one woman is caught between the affections of siblings.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
Hedges might be making a basic peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich of a feature, but he cuts the crusts off the white bread because he knows that's how we like it.
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
even Derek Jeter strikes out once in a while, so Steve Carell was bound to have a stinker eventually, and Dan In Real Life is it.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Dan in Real Life navigates its machinations with such laid-back assurance that it earns your attention, your respect and, ultimately, your heart.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
Comfortable and enjoyable in an unpushy sort of way.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
The sort of movie that wears down your resistance until, finally, you feel as if something must be wrong with you if you don't fall for the cheap theatrics of its story and the emotional manipulations of its characters.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
Carell brings depth and sweetness to the role, showing us Dan's longing before Dan can acknowledge it himself.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Plot undermines otherwise solid performances and high quality production.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Thankfully, Hedges keeps his focus and doesn't allow the film to just become a series of sketches and syrupy confessionals.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Carell, who is quickly building an impressive big screen resume, shines and brings the rest of the film up a few notches in the process.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
Director Hedges's signature trademark of broad comedy with family sentiment on display with reasonable success.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
unaffectedly joyful about what life has to offer
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Has about as much genuine feeling as a cheap greeting card.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Carell continues his march as this generation's Tom Hanks, equally comfortable and at home in comedy or drama.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
It's as if the producers of Spanglish had asked Adam Sandler to do his Opera Man routine here and there.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Dan is a delightful motion picture, especially when it combats the fatigue of formula, trying to smuggle in astute characterizations between moments of traditional Hollywood romantic comedy hoo-ha.
Brian Orndorf - OhmyNews.com
A comedy that's at once overstuffed and surprisingly subtle.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Sweet family comedy trifle starring Steve Carell as the titular neurotic advice columnist suffering through an impossibly quaint family vacation. Manages to be cute without being cutesy.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
This picture about romance found unexpectedly in middle age juxtaposes poignant observations about love and family with genuinely humorous moments.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
A wry, smart and perceptive dramedy about family and life's other surprises.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Director Peter Hedges overloads his film with characters and then gives them nothing interesting to do.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Dan in Real Life is a pretty warm, genuine comedy that succeeds, at least in part, because of some gutsy casting choices.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Bad movies invariably stem from bad ideas, and the worst of the several rancid ideas packed inside of Dan in Real Life is that Steve Carell could be the new Alan Alda.
Robert Koehler - Christian Science Monitor
The cozy, lived-in atmosphere created by the ensemble and the unlikely chemistry of Carell and Binoche are so genuine that you wish the rest of the film was just as effortless and authentic.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
As resolutely plastic and formulaic as most half-hour network comedy pilots.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
[Binoche's] complicated, heartfelt performance is the reason to see the film: When she's around, she pierces the soothing gray nothingness with shafts of sunlight.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The movie has its charms, especially the performances, but they're not the charms of family togetherness and finding love after loss that the movie so sappily tries to pound home near the end.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Carell and Binoche do make a sweet couple, but this rom-com fare -- albeit tasty at times -- isn't as substantial as it should be.
Matt Stevens - E! Online
It's like the cream-and-sugar decaf version of The 40-Year-Old Virgin--sweet enough, but nothing that will keep you from dozing off.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Somewhere in between the forced movie-star moments is a smaller, sweeter picture trying to get out. We wish the suits would have given that second film more breathing room.
David Fear - Time Out New York
Dan in Real Life is an odd title for a movie that hasn't the slightest concept of real life.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The movie is called Dan in Real Life, but it's a stretch worthy of Reed Richards to believe that anything in this tepid plate of idiocy would actually happen in real life.
John Thomason - Orlando Weekly
...a thoroughly contrived romantic comedy that is spiked into the end zone by its engaging cast and shambling production design.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It sounds corny, and it is -- as are many other of the goofy sequences that seem lame on paper but work in execution. But that's family.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
If this is "real life," then count me out.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Steve Carell's pursed-lipped awkwardness and sweet buffoonery are both in fine form, but those endearing qualities aren't nearly enough to salvage Peter Hedges's incorrigibly hackneyed film.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Dan In Real Life wants to offer it all -- a fine sentiment when a movie can pull it off, an example of trying too hard when it doesn't.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
A complete waste of some wonderful talent.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
...about as pleasant as a movie can get without actually being any good.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Despite sit-com touches and crowd-pleasing tendencies, Hedges' honorable follow up to his 2003 indie Pieces of April is satisfying as a family saga and romantic dramedy due to central performance of Steve Carell.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A film of quiet but true pleasures, Dan in Real Life affirms that there's a real movie career still ahead for Steve Carell.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International