Dan in Real Life

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Dan in Real Life (Touchstone Movie)

“Dan in Real Life” is a heartwarming and comedic drama released in 2007, directed by Peter Hedges. The film stars Steve Carell as Dan Burns, a widower and advice columnist with a loving but chaotic family. Dan is struggling to find happiness and balance in his life after the death of his wife.

During a family reunion at a beach house, Dan meets Marie, played by Juliette Binoche, in a bookstore. They immediately hit it off and have a deep and meaningful conversation. However, Dan soon discovers that Marie is the new girlfriend of his younger brother, Mitch, portrayed by Dane Cook. This revelation leads to a complicated and emotional conflict within the family.

Throughout the weekend, Dan tries to navigate his feelings for Marie while also dealing with the complexities of family dynamics. The film beautifully captures the ups and downs of love, grief, and family relationships, highlighting the challenges of moving on after loss.

Steve Carell delivers a standout performance as Dan, showcasing his comedic talents as well as his ability to portray vulnerability and heartache. His chemistry with Juliette Binoche adds depth and authenticity to their characters’ connection.

“Dan in Real Life” is not just a romantic comedy; it delves into deeper themes of self-discovery, forgiveness, and the importance of cherishing family bonds. The film’s poignant moments are balanced with witty humor and charming interactions between the characters.

The ensemble cast, which includes Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney, and Emily Blunt, complements the story with their strong performances, contributing to the film’s overall warmth and sincerity.

The picturesque setting of the beach house and the beautiful cinematography enhance the film’s atmosphere, making it visually appealing as well as emotionally engaging.

Overall, “Dan in Real Life” is a delightful and heartfelt film that explores the complexities of human emotions and relationships. It leaves the audience with a sense of hope and the reminder that love and family can heal even the deepest wounds.

Additional Details


  • Steve Carell: Dan Burns
  • Alison Pill: Jane Burns
  • Britt Robertson: Cara Burns
  • Marlene Lawston: Lilly Burns
  • Dane Cook: Mitch Burns
  • Juliette Binoche: Marie Diamond
  • John Mahoney: John “Poppy” Burns
  • Dianne Wiest: Nana Burns
  • Norbert Leo Butz: Clay Burns
  • Jessica Hecht: Amy Burns
  • Amy Ryan: Eileen Burns
  • Frank Wood: Howard Wilson
  • Emily Blunt: Dr. Ruthie “Pigface” Draper
  • Felipe Dieppa: Marty
  • Bernie McInerney: James Lamson
  • Amy Landecker: Cindy Lamson
  • Matthew Morrison: Policeman
  • Stephen Mellor: Bookstore Clerk
  • CJ Adams: Elliot Burns
  • Shana Carr: Suzanne Burns
  • Lucas Hedges: Lily’s Dance Partner


  • Director: Peter Hedges
  • Producer: Jonathan Shestack
  • Writers: Pierce Gardner and Peter Hedges

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.