Friday Movies: Dan in Real Life

My choices yesterday – since I wanted to stay in the neighborhood, so that I could have lunch at the museum afterward and take a look at some of the new shows that have opened this Fall – were American Gangster and Dan in Real Life. I chose the latter, because American Gangster was berated by everyone save (predictably) the Wall Street Journal for its faulty moral compass. Well, the same might be said of Dan in Real Life, although I’m probably going to be the only one to say it. Dan in Real Life is obviously about a family of professional-class people, but all explicit references to such a background have been effaced, presumably in the interest of making more proletarian audiences feel at home with the comedy.  The class neutrality of Dan in Real Life amounts to the outright denial of intelligence as a virtue, and I found it both irritating and offensive.  

Dan in Real Life.

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2 Responses to “Friday Movies: Dan in Real Life

  1. Ellen says:

    It sound irritatingly superficial and filled with cliches about what makes for happiness.


  2. Nom de plume says:

    Oooooooh, Disney! Now I get it. Need we say more? I was in an audience with the new CEO, an Ithaca College grad who was at the school last year to kick off their fund raising campaign. I can’t even remember his name, although I could look it up and I suppose it should be on my lips. The negligible student protest sprinkled through the audience was cast in polite questions that challenged Disney as a corporate Dracula, biting the necks of consumers and turning them into consumptive zombies. It mirrors, in my estimation, the national goal of education: creating a compliant army of productive citizens, definitely NOT individual intelligences who think much at all. This movie is what Disney would show these citizens at lunch hour after their Soma-infused tea.

    My frustrations with the movie were different when I watched it. I expected many more laughs from Carell who is rippingly funny on NBC’s excellent rip-off of the British sitcom, “The Office.” He was not funny in this movie, not even gently so. (Your characterization of his clear and canine eyes was spot on!) There were no laughs and few smiles. Dianne Weist was a mean Mom, like Diane Keaton in The Family Stone (and without the excuse of dying of cancer), which I took this movie to be a rip-off of. Watered down psycho-pop with no psycho. What’s that leave us with? Pop?