Friday, 27 November 2009

Dan In Real Life

By Pierce Gardener.

Revisions by Peter Hedges.

This is another one of those: 'I wanted to read awhile ago and has taken awhile to get around to' screenplays and I'm glad that I have now finally read it.

I remember seeing a brief trailer some time ago and the instant feeling I got was that 'this is one for me.' It belongs in the wide genre of indie type films that centre around family, a longing from the norm and feature a great blend of humour and drama. So I was eager to know if it would hold up to its initial impact and deliver. And the verdict is: it does.

The story is about a widowed father and newspaper advice columnist who has his hands full with raising his three daughters and being practical to let go and enjoy something in life. But then the family head off on vacation and his rational and in control side is put to the test when he falls for a woman.

The screenplay is a heartfelt and feel good read. It embodies a strong driving force via realistic characters and the humour and drama that they bring. It has a unique blend of humour, familial conflict and emotional upheaval that makes for a warming and layered read. It has a great balance and rhythm to its scene and content that keeps it pacey and interesting. However, there are one or two potentially cheesy and questionable moments, which are to be expected within this type of story.

The screenplay is ultimately about family and personal happiness, what that is, how it should be approached and how the two can exist in harmony. It's about finding a balance with the mundane rational side and zest for the irrational and unpredictable side in order to live in real life now and again.

I can't wait to see the film and I hope it holds up to my now high hopes and expectations.

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