The Movie, “Dan in Real Life”


‘Plan to be surprised.’


Dan in Real Life


I didn’t expect this movie to be any good at all when I picked it up among the other comedy drama movies that I decided to digest over the past couple of days. Yes, I am a movie junkie who just wanted to tune it for a simple laugh or some easy-going movie that doesn’t make you think much which is the point when you are trying to escape from all the brainstorming sessions for the dreaded research. Anyway, as I have said, I never did expect the movie to turn out to be any good and indeed, it was more than I expected. The simplicity of the movie was the catch. Yes, very predictable stuff but that’s the beauty about the movie. The following could be a spoiler so just ignore this if you have any plans to watch it.


The American comedian, Steve Carell, played the lead role, Dan Burns, who is an advice columnist who is supposed to be an expert in relationships but somehow struggles to succeed as a brother, a son and a single parent. Throughout the whole movie, he was pathetic. The whole family even the little kids were teasing him, jeering him as if he’s like a nobody but though being treated so, he resisted it all until the day he met Marie, a “hottie” that is being played by the lovely actress, Juliette Binoche. Yes, obviously, he fell in love with her after 4 dreadful years being a widower. For a moment, he thought he wouldn’t find love anymore after losing his wife but somehow the lovestruck was beyond his control and in just merely 3 days, the love forced him to break many rules that he had been trying to abide to all these years for his 3 daughters’ sake.


I really liked the last part, a voice-over in which Dan narrates his column to the readers, indicating that he was chosen by the newspaper media company to have his column nationally syndicated. It goes something like this, “Dear readers, for most of you, this is my first column in your paper. In the future, I will be answering your questions but today, I want to break from my usual format and talk to you about the subject of plans. Not so much my plan for this column, more like, life plans. How we all make them and how we hope our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we are really honest with ourselves, most of the time our plans don’t work out as we hoped. So, instead of asking our young people, “What are your plans ?”, “What do you plan to do with your life ?”, maybe we should tell them this. Plan to be surprised.”


I have always been the boring type person who asks those silly questions to others about their future plans and had been judgmental when someone answers they don’t have anything particular in mind. And, of course, biased in many ways accordingly to my sets of values. I guess I am the type of person who gets weary about the idea of not planning. Plans are good, (since there’s the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”) I still believe but we must always remember there’s a possibility that certain plans may not turn out as how we hoped, the main message that this movie wanted to convey. Life is filled with randomness and we, human, tend to want to be in control all the time and definitely, it could be easier for ourselves to ‘plan to be surprised’. Anyway, there’s quite a few cute scenes especially the quarrels between Dan and his 2nd daughter, Cara, who’s in a rebellious teenage phase who’s deeply in love with a young boy. The keyword, “murderer of love”. *hehe* When you find time and want an easy-going movie like how I did, this could just be that movie.



4 thoughts on “The Movie, “Dan in Real Life”

  1. I didn’t know he could act normally as in being not too funny.
    He shown another side of himself in this movie and
    the gap between his usual character and the one
    in this movie made it great. šŸ˜€

  2. Is it going to be in the cinemas here in Japan ?
    I have no idea whether they are actually going to
    do that for it is not really a big hit or something.
    And about my blog, whether it is a surprise or not,
    obviously you got the address from my status in Gmail chat right ? šŸ™‚

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