Dan In Real Life parents guide

Dan In Real Life Parent Guide

Overall B+

Life is a nightmare for struggling single father Dan Burns (Steve Carell), after he finally meets the woman of his dreams (Juliette Binoche) only to discover she's dating his brother Mitch (Dane Cook).

Release date October 25, 2007

Violence B+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity B
Substance Use B

Why is Dan In Real Life rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Dan In Real Life PG-13 for some innuendo.

Run Time: 96 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Advice is always easier to give if you don’t have to actually follow it yourself. As a newspaper columnist, Dan Burns (Steve Carell) writes a parenting piece for the local paper. Read and adored by hordes of subscribers, the widower bases his counsel on his own experience with three daughters.

His girls, on the other hand, aren’t so impressed with their father’s approach to raising kids. At 17, Jane (Alison Pill) complains he won’t loosen the reins and give her a chance to drive their family station wagon. Convinced that she has found her soul mate, 15-year-old Cara (Brittany Robertson) is abhorred when Dan drags her away from the clutches of her boyfriend (Felipe Dieppa) in front of her friends. And even Lilly (Marlene Lawston), the youngest of the trio, is already wise enough as a fourth-grader to see that adults don’t always get things right.

Still, they are all more or less willing to pack up and spend a few days at a reunion on the Rhode Island shoreline with their grandparents (Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney) and extended relatives. Although happy for the opportunity for adult interactions, Dan has to endure some brotherly ribbing about finding another wife. Tuned into the tension, Dan’s mother sends her son off to fetch some newspapers at the seaside booksellers. There, between the shelves of paperbacks and hard covers, Dan meets a beautiful and interesting foreigner who spends the next few hours chatting with him over tea and muffins. Eager to tell his family about Marie (Juliette Binoche), Dan races back to the cottage just in time to meet his brother’s (Dane Cook) new girlfriend… who happens to be the same woman.

Cloistered in the tight quarters of the family cabin, Marie and Dan spend the next few days trying to avoid each other and keep secret their earlier meeting. Yet, the close proximity makes Dan a glum chum as he watches his brother fall more madly in love with Marie while he is doing the same. Soon, however, Dan’s daughters are reading the situation and pulling him aside with some advice of their own.

Filled with relatively believable and positive family characters and scenarios, the film’s humor is based predominately on interpersonal relationships and situational complexities, including an awkward, non-sexually motivated shower scene. With only infrequent profanities and some sexual commentary, the film focuses more on the intricacies of love, life and familial connections. While children and teens likely won’t be humored by these challenges, adults may appreciate the comedy behind the complications that arise for Dan in Real Life.

Starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release October 25, 2007. Updated

Dan In Real Life
Rating & Content Info

Why is Dan In Real Life rated PG-13? Dan In Real Life is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some innuendo.


Surprisingly light on content issues, the film contains a handful of mild profanities and a brief discussion on self-pleasuring. Some suggestive song lyrics and an awkward shower scene, based on a complex situation rather than sex, are played out on screen as well. A single punch to the head and some social drinking round out the concerns parents may find with this script.

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Dan In Real Life Parents' Guide

How does the loss of their wife and mother affect Dan and his daughters? What are the challenges of being a single parent?

What kind of extended family and sibling relationships are portrayed in this film? How do Dan’s parents offer support to their children?

What positive outcomes can result from reunions and other shared familial traditions?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Dan In Real Life movie is March 11, 2008. Here are some details…

DVD Release Dates: 11 March 2008

Fans of Dan in Real Life can get up close and personal with this DVD release. Hear the inside scoop with an audio commentary by writer/director Peter Hedges, listen to Handmade Music (an expose on creating the score), scan deleted scenes and outtakes (some with an audio commentary by Peter Hedges) and share the recipe Just Like Family: The Making of Dan In Real Life. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in French and Spanish.

Related home video titles:

An older sibling intervenes to keep his younger brother from pursuing a relationship with the daughter of their chauffer in the film Sabrina. In While You Were Sleeping, a shy young toll taker is mistaken as the fiancee of a comatose man, however she soon finds herself falling for the injured man’s brother.

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