So we watched another widow movie entitled Smart People with Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, that girl from Juno and Thomas Haden Church. I really don’t know why I like widowed people movies so much – the comedy ones in particular. Perhaps it is because I equate my experience as a dramedy rather than a Lifetime Movie for Women. I had as many up and really surreal and satirical moments as I did sad grief-drenched ones. Read Full Article
watching movies in bed
As many of you know, Rob and I frequently cuddle up in bed with his laptop and a DVD from our public library. The library has quite an impressive collection. We have seldom been unable to find a film that strikes our fancy and often we choose movies from the sneak peaks that are provided on the DVD’s we have seen.
Dan in Real Life though was something I read about on MSN. We are Steve Carell fans and investigate his movies even if we don’t end up checking them out of the library.
I warned Rob upfront that it was a chick flick and he lamented the fact that all the really funny actors eventually succumb to the dreaded genre. It wasn’t until he was firing up the computer and inserting the disc that I mentioned the storyline was that of a widower falling in love again.
“Just had to keep the streak alive, didn’t you?” was his arched eyebrow comment*.
The main character Dan, played by Carell, is an advice columnist on the verge of syndication and raising his three daughters somewhere in Jersey. During a trip to his family’s summer home for their annual get together, he meets a woman by chance in a bookstore and they click. However the woman turns out to be his brother’s new girlfriend. Romantic comedy ensues.
The supporting cast is great**. The subplots are humorous but realistic. Dan’s widowhood is central to the story, not in a “in your face way”, but merely as just another circumstance of his life that makes him who he is and explains the way he deals with many of the issues that come up.
And it made us laugh. Both of us. Despite the mediocre reviews the film got when it came out, it is worth a viewing in the privacy of one’s living room, den or bedroom – as is our wont mostly because of the lack of living room furniture thing.
Being widowed, I was especially touched by the tiny details. For example, the opening scene is early in the morning with the alarm going off. Dan reaches out to the empty side of the bed and you can see he is clearly lonely. The camera pulls back to reveal that his late wife’s side of the bed is made and covered with papers and books and whatnot. Another scene at his parent’s home finds Dan being set up for the stay in the laundry room. Rob thought that was funny until I pointed out that naturally he wouldn’t get a real bedroom like his married siblings. It’s not as if he had a wife to consider. And of course there is the constant but well-meaning advice of his parents and siblings to “get back out there already”***.
Of course movie nights mean being tired the next day. We always end up staying up way too late regardless of how early we get started. Isn’t that the way of “dates”?
Dan in Real Life is a good flick. You should give it a look if the opportunity presents.
*Anyone who has been reading here a while knows that Rob and I have a habit of picking/watching movies with death and widowhood themes even when we try not to pick them out.
**The brother is played by Dane Cook who is a comedian Rob often hears on XM and had been on that very day with a bit about his first blow-job and and car door handles. It’s here on YouTube.
***There is a great subplot with one of his teen daughters falling in love that is the perfect metaphor for the newly minted adult single back “out there”. The compare/contrast is great.