I have always enjoyed Dan in Real Life, but watching it again provided some unique points I’d like to discuss.
First, aren’t the family activities out of this world? Nobody does that anymore. What family gets up at the crow of the rooster and does salsa exercises in their pajamas? Dan’s family, that’s who. Talent shows, family dinners, charades, kayaking on the lake, I just can’t get enough of it. If I had any brothers and sisters whatsoever we would totally be doing group yoga.
Second, Dane Cook. May 25, 2008 Las Vegas.
Third, Dan just goes ballistic for Marie, and it makes fo some very entertaining awkwardness. Michael Scott styles. Except you can actually endure watching Dan, unlike Michael. Dan achieves the pinnacle of his craziness when he kisses Marie fresh off her breakup with Dane Cook two hours previous. In front of the family. Everyone is upset at him, and in essence rightly so. He comes back to his house and his family sits in on his syndication meeting (awkward) and he gets to hear his own advice revered, advice he didn’t follow.
Recently I have been reflecting on my own self perception of who I am and certain qualities I like to believe I have. Integrity. Patience. Control. Humility. And I realize that I don’t exercise those traits as much as I think I do. I don’t take my own advice so to speak. I don’t read my own column. I’m in the same boat as Dan. Up the river without a paddle. Or life jacket.
The other point I’d parallel is when Dan puts off his daughter and comes to a realization of his self-interest. He goes up to her room and speaks to all of his girls and they are PISSED (I think they’re pretty rude to him despite what he did but whatever). Anyway, Dan says, “I’m grounding myself for life, and I will never leave you guys.” His daughter says, “You’re with us everyday.” Dan was smothering his daughters, and though his intentions were good it was too much. Everyone needs their space no matter how close they are. Dan’s daughters loved him, but they wanted to be able to live their own life and have their father live his. I think this was an important parallel for me since most of the time I like to talk things out immediately and resolve things immediately in relationships. When someone says I need some space I take it as I have totally screwed up and want to fix it and it drives me insane. That may come from past relationships and family experience, I don’t know. Needless to say I have thought a lot about this point and seeing it demonstrated by Steve Carell was a poignant reminder.
So, Dan really is in Real Life. At least he lives lessons from Real Life. Now, back to the Office.