It was a blustery day in the Hundred Acre Woods…no, wait. It was actually a gray, cold, rainy, overcast Sunday afternoon in
Now, I love the Dollar Theater for two reasons. The first and most obvious is that tickets to any movie only cost a dollar per person, so I can take the whole family…me, my five or six or seven children (depending on how many happen to be with me at the time), my fiancée Jen and her four kids…out to the movies for less than twenty bucks! The other reason I love the Dollar Theater is that the majority of the people who go there are Hispanic. I am 5’8, and the average Hispanic male at the Dollar Theater has got to be 5’4 or shorter, so that is the one place in town I can go and actually be looking over other men’s heads. ;)
So this past Sunday the family and I saw “Dan In Real Life”, with Steve Carell, and I have to say that it was a great piece of art. Dan is a widower with three girls, two of whom are teenagers. He’s still very much in love with his late wife and has zero social life. The movie opens with Dan and his daughters preparing for their trek to Dan’s parents’ house for the annual fall family reunion. We begin to see immediately the manifestations of the rift between a parent who cares and children who are in their “terrible teens” as the older daughter is always vying to drive the car and the middle daughter is madly in love (at least two years premature, according to her father).
Dan and the girls arrive at his parents’ home…and here’s where my attention was immediately drawn to and remained with the details of the scenes and settings until the very end of the movie. Dan’s parents live in a large, rustic home on an island in the state of
I do realize that I’ve nearly completely neglected to reveal the plot of the movie with its twists, turns, and scenes that will make you laugh out loud as well as become a bit teary-eyed. The plot isn’t anything extraordinary or new, and is one that anybody over the age of 25 can likely predict with a high degree of accuracy as the movie progresses. But what I would like to convey most of all in this review is, first of all, SEE the movie…it’s well worth the time invested. Secondly, see it with your family. Watch for the nuances and “family moments” that I have pointed out, and when it’s all over, talk about it with your spouse, children, mother, brother, sister, friend…whoever watched it with you…and make it a point to adopt one or two of the old-fashioned family nuggets that the writers used to give us a refreshing glimpse of what family really can and should look like.
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