'Dan in real life' isn't really a comedy as such, more like a light-hearted romantic drama. Centering around the character of Dan Burns, a newspaper columnist, widower and single father of three girls. The film follows Dan and his family as they meet at his parents Rhode Island home for a family reunion.
After arriving at his parents house Dan drives into the local town and meets a woman named Marie in a book store, the pair share a cup of coffee and even though Marie tells him she's just started a new relationship Dan feels an instant connection and is full of hope of a new romance. The trouble is as soon as he arrives back at his parents he discovers that Marie is actually the new girlfriend of his younger brother.
The film is very similar in tone to life affirming dramas like 'Little Miss Sunshine', 'Juno' and 'Sunshine Cleaning'. Steve Carrell is always watchable and does a pretty good job of portraying Dan as a likeable guy who usually comes of second best to the rest of his family.