Sunday, May 24, 2009


Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dan Cook, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney, Emily Blunt

"Something is happening to Dan. It's confusing.
It's awkward. It's family."


Dan (Steve Carell) is a widower and father of 3 daughters. He earns a living by writing an advice column. This is his story. He is an ordinary guy. A bit of a loner until he meets Marie (Juliette Binoche). But there is a problem. It turns out that "the woman at the bookstore" is none other than his brother's girlfriend. Poor Dan. To make matters worse, he has to endure a weekend with his entire family consisting of his parents, his siblings, their wives, a whole bunch of nieces, nephews and of course - Marie!

This family themed romantic comedy is totally predictable yet it succeeds due to the valiant efforts of Steve Carell. He is what I call an "intelligent comic". He can be funny (without resorting to slapstick or vulgar humor) one second and then be serious in another frame, effortlessly. Thankfully, he was able to overshadow Dan Cook in most of their scenes together. I couldn't grasp the concept that Dan Cook and Steve Carell could be siblings nor the fact that Juliette Binoche was cast as Dan Cook's love interest. In that sense, the film was predictable because of course Dan is much better suited for Marie. They have so much in common. They look good together. So naturally they will end up together.

So give or take a few dragging sequences, this film was a delight to watch. It had a solid ensemble cast headed by Carell and Binoche. Their performances as a group was infectious and rowdy as large families are expected to be. I, specifically like the 3 daughters of Dan. They conveyed with firm conviction the various hang ups/pitfalls of being nurtured by a widower.

The soundtrack was filled with fun upbeat songs. Well except for the really silly corny songs which Dan Cook would enforce on our eardrums. Pure torture, I tell you. Yes it is pretty apparent I don't like Dan Cook! Heh!

The storyline although predictable (yes I repeat myself a lot!) was coherent and uncomplicated.

I conclude by saying that when Dan uttered this line:

What don't I understand, Cara? Please, help me out. What is it? Is it frustrating that you can't be with this person? That there's something keeping you apart? That there's something about this person that you can connect with? And whenever you're near this person, you don't know what to say, and you say everything that's in your mind and in your heart, and you know that if you could just be together, that this person would help you become the best possible version of yourself?
I smiled and nodded in agreement.

2 popcorn buckets:

Wil said...

That's the problem with a lot of romantic comedies these days -- too predictable. But I guess that's what people want -- a happy ending. :D

D@phn3 L@ur@ said...

You're right Wil. We expect happy endings especially in rom-coms because we all know that in real life happy endings are quite rare hehehe


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