It's rare that one sees a mainstream commercial movie that features people who make kind and wise choices, people who refrain from littering their speech with profanity, and those people also stay out of the bedroom. Dan in Real Life is that kind of rare movie. It is rated PG-13, but it's a very tame PG-13. In fact, depending on what your kids regularly watch, I think it's the kind of film that teens could watch with their parents to launch a good discussion (PluggedIn online always has good reviews that give a run-down of any content that some might find objectionable, and this review details all the whys of the rating).
Terry and I saw this over the weekend, and we both enjoyed it. It is a drama, so I was surprised that Terry mentioned a couple times that it was a good movie. I think that he appreciated the way it was presented, but also the subject matter. And there is some Steve Carell silly or physical humor throughout to keep the subject light.
Dan Burns lost his wife four years ago, so he's playing mom and dad to two teenage daughters and one pre-teen. The girl-drama is right on target and causes a few laughs (or in our case perhaps a nervous chuckle as we think, "It's coming for us--all too soon."). He finally finds someone who he is attracted to, but there's a complication. The viewers watch and hope for Dan to find personal happiness in his real life.
With two other recent family-friendly flicks under his belt--Evan Almighty and Horton Hears a Who--I might have to add Steve Carell to my favorite actors list.