Dan in Real Life is a 2007 romantic comedy film writen and directed by Peter Hedges and starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche.
Dan: So, the plan.
Jane: The plan! Hey Cara, Dad's about to reveal the plan!
Dan: I'll pack up the car and pick you up after school, and then we'll drive straight through.
Lily: Sounds good.
Cara: [slams fridge] Does not!
Dan: What now?
Cara: Well, wasn't like, the whole point to go to school? And now you're forcing us to miss school when we should like, be in school. Right, I mean what about my studies? Why are you smiling?
Dan: I just never thought I'd hear you say "what about my studies?" It makes me, like, smile.
Marty: Very good column, sir. The last bit about curfew is very apt. May I also say that yesterday's column on boundary setting was excellent.
Dan: Who're you?
Marty: I'm Marty Burasco. Anyway, I would like to especially thank you for last friday's column. It really helped me understand my parents.
Dan: [laughs] Okay. Well, Marty, what else can I do for you?
Marty: I'd like to see your daughter, sir, if I could?
Dan: Ah. Jane!
Marty: Actually, I'm here for Cara.
Dan: Nice to meet you Marty, come back in two years.
Dan: Look, you're a fine driver, but the other hundred million--
Jane: If you never let me, I'll never learn.
Dan: But if I let you, you may not live.
Dan: Sorry to interrupt your "studies" with your "friend."
Cara: Well we can't all be monks like you.
Dan: And by the way, you're grounded.
Cara: Oh yeah? For how long?
Dan: For life.
Jane: Dad, come on.
Cara: Yeah, this is humiliating!
Dan: Alright, you're grounded for a month.
Cara: A month?! But that's worse than forever! Okay, dad, why?
Dan: You lied to me.
Cara: Well you can't handle the truth.
Dan: Maybe you should try me next time.
Cara: but but but but--
Dan: no no no no.
Cara: Okay, dad, I, I love Marty.
Dan: Oh please.
Cara: Dad, dad, dad! Stop, listen! I didn't know right away! It took me a while!
Dan: How long is a while?
Cara: Well, I, I, I've known him for three weeks but I knew in three days.
Dan: Three days?! You can't know in three days!
Cara: Yes you can!
Dan: No! No. But the feeling, it is not love. It is young--
Cara: But I love him dad!
Dan: --and reckless--
Cara: I love him I love him I love him!
Dan: --and not thought out--
Cara: I love him!
Dan: --and you may think it's love, but it's not!
Dan: I think your sisters aren't very happy with me.
Dan: Why do you think?
Lily: You're a good father, but sometimes bad dad.
Dan: Who told you to say that?
Lily: no one.
Dan: Was it Jane or Cara? You can tell me.
Lily: I made it up myself.
Dan: No, you didn't. Jane or Cara?
Lily: I made it up myself. I'm in the 4th grade. I can make things up for myself.
Dan: Jane or Cara?
Lily: I made it up myself! I can think for myself!
Dan: Jane or Cara?
Lily: Jane, Cara: She's in the 4th grade!
Dan: My kids can't stand me.
Dad: Just means you're doing something right!
Dan: What are you looking for?
Marie: Something funny might be nice. But not something necessarily big, hahaha, laugh out loud funny, and certainly not-make-fun-of-other-people funny, but certainly something human funny. And uh, if it could um, sneak up on you, surprise you, and at the same time make you think that what you thought was only right in a wrong kind of way, and when you're wrong, there's a certain rightness to your wrongness. Well, maybe, what I mean is, more importantly, I'm looking to be swept up. And, at the same time, not. Meaning I want to feel a deep connection to something. Or maybe, I don't know what I'm looking for.
Marie: You. Are. Smooth.
Dan: Actually, I'm not smooth. I'm, uh, Dan.
Dan: I bought a muffin...but I think they gave me a small planet.
Marie: So you're telling me you're one of those widowers with three daughters who preys on unsuspecting women in bookstores?
Dan: It seems that way, yeah.
Dan: I would call you to say I'm not calling. Wow.
Mr. Burns: What's wrong?
Dan: Nobody! I mean nothing!
Mitch: Dad, Mom, what do you think of...?
Mr. Burns: Mitch, it's just too soon to tell!
Mrs. Burns: That said...she's bright, lovely, adorable, and if you botch this up, we'll keep her and get rid of you.
Dan: Mitch is a great guy.
Marie: He is, he is. He's fun and uh, funny. He's complicated, but in a good way. Just what I need.
Dan: He's a great guy.
Marie: See, I just got out of a relationship, and Mitch was there.
Dan: He's a great guy.
Marie: You keep saying that.
Dan: Well, because he is. So good luck, to all of us.
Mr. Burns: So a little bird told me you're going to be syndicated.
Dan: Lily. They're looking at a bunch of columnists, it's a long shot at best.
Jane: She's amazing! Name a place and she's either lived there or visited. Tibet, Chile, Berlin when there was the walls, she's...gah!
Mr. Burns: Well, Mitch certainly made out.
Mr. Burns: And what about you?
Dan: Oh, Dad...
Mr. Burns: Come on, you always say that with Suzanne you won the lottery and to try again would feel greedy...But it's been 4 years!
Dan: Can we just walk please?
Dan: I'm sorry. I was way, way out of line.
Mitch: No. You're never out of line, you're my brother.
Dan: I think you'll understand when I--
Mitch: Look, bro, there's nothing you could say or do that could upset me.
Dan: The woman I met, at the book store--
Mitch: [raises his hand and Dan stops] When you were talking about the other girls, I realized what I feel for Marie is different. You know that feeling in um...your...
Dan: Your heart.
Mitch: Yeah, your heart. And your heart is...
Dan: It's pounding.
Dan: Like it's right outside of your ribs.
Dan: And it feels exposed and vulnerable, wonderful and awful, and heartsick, and alive all at the same time.
Mitch: Yes! What do you call that?
Dan: No no no. This was the place with all of the shells, and the paper-mache shark!
[outside the closed water park] Don't you remember you used to love the salt-water taffy?
Lily: When I was 4.
Dan: Yeah, but...okay. Stick with me guys. Oh, I have an idea! Let's go bowling!
Dan: Alright! Sounds good!
[outside the closed bowling alley] Life is full of disappointment. Big, and sometimes even bigger. So, what's it going to be? The lighthouse or the whaling museum? Your pick.
Dan: you know why we have lighthouses?
Kid: Because they're neat?
Dan: That's right, yes. And also because they help when it's dark out. They uh, help keep boats safe, and they help us from crashing into rocks. Because, when you're out there, and you're being tossed back and forth by those big dark waves, and you think that you'll never feel land again, and that you could just split into a million pieces, and just sink down all the way down into the deep, it's the light that keeps us on course. It's the light.
Lily: Dad, are you okay?
Dan: Of course I'm okay...Honey.
Cara: I miss your skin. I miss your smell. I miss...I miss your eyes. [she spots Dan crawling across the room] DAD! YOU ARE SUCH A FREAK!
Dan: Stop reading my book, okay. Just stop.
Dan: And that salsa thing you do? You know, this thing? Can you just stop that? It would be very helpful to me. And another thing you can do is just not exist.
Marie: Oh, thank you.
Dan: Yeah, I said it. I didn't mean it, but I said it. And you know what else I'm going to do? I am going to make myself less attractive. So as to not encourage any inappropriate feelings!
[Marie bursts into laughter]
Dan: okay, that's hilarious. You know what, fine. I'm going to stop thinking about you.
Dan: I will. And if I start thinking about you, which may happen in a moment of...
Dan: Weakness! I am going to focus all of my thoughts on your flaws.
Marie: My flaws?
Dan: Your flaws.
Marie: And they are?
Dan: I have no idea. But you can rest assured that I will find them!
Mrs Burns: Dan, hi.
Mrs. Burns: Honey, you know we're worried about you. You know that.
Mr. Burns: And with your behavior last night and this morning, we are now officially worried.
Dan: Well, I'm touched but, but, I'm fine.
[Aunt 1 and Uncle 1 enter]
Mrs. Burns: We're having a discussion.
Dan: No, no, come on in.
Mrs. Burns: Dan, this is private, we'd like to talk to you.
Dan: Go ahead.
Mrs. Burns: You know, you do so much for your girls, you do so much for all of us. But what are you doing for yourself?
[Aunt 2, Uncle 2, and daughter enter]
Dan: Come on in.
Aunt 2: Can we come in?
Dan: It's fine. Stay please.
Mrs. Burns: We'd like to speak to you privately.
Dan: Go ahead, mom.
Mrs. Burns: Yes, dear?
Daughter: Is this because Uncle Dan's acting so weird?
Uncle 2: Yes, and you know, there's an explanation for all that weirdness.
Dan: Please, tell us!
Uncle 2: And I just wanted to talk to you: You have got to be WAY backed up, and I just hope that form time to time, you're treating yourself to a little self love.
All: Oh, come on!
Uncle 2: I talked to my neurologist about this!
Mr. Burns: That's enough!
Mrs. Burns: That's not what this is about!
Aunt 1: The one question that no one will ask is: will Dan ever find love again?
Uncle 1: No, he won't.
Mrs. Burns: Howard!
Uncle 1: No, I'm sorry, he won't. If you're open to it, love will find you.
[Marie and Mitch enter]
Dan: Oh, perfect. [laughs]
Uncle 2: I don't know if I was being clear before, but you've got to unclog that drain.
Uncle: Unplug that bottle...I think I mixed the metaphor there.
Dan: So far what you've missed is; worried, love will find, unplug the drain. Well, thanks we are done!
Mrs. Burns: No, no. That is not it. We met Margo Draper's daughter at the farmer's market and she asked all about you.
Mr. Burns: You see Danny, you have to have a little fun.
Mrs. Burns: Which means she's going to pick you up, and you're going to have drinks! You're going on a date!
Dan: No mom!
Mrs. Burns: Yes, honey! It's TIME.
Mitch: Ruthy 'Pig-face' Draper? Come on mom!
Mrs. Burns: She's not a Pig-face!
Uncle 2: Ruthy 'Pig-face' Draper...come on that is downright cruel!
Dan: Mom, I don't even remember Ruthy 'Pig-face' Draper. I don't wanna go! I don't want to go with...the...pig-face!
Mitch: So, Harvard Medical, Johns Hopkins, you're certainly doing well for yourself Ruthy.
Dan: Yeah, it's impressive.
Mitch: Must not leave enough time, though, for dating.
Ruthy: Well, there was someone...um, he was very special in my life, but um...[starts to cry] he was...lost in a...freak accident, I'm so sorry!
What's weird is that we had only known each other three days, but you know how sometimes you just...know.
Mitch: Dude I'm sorry, but any girl that moves like that...a guy has got to wonder.
Dan: Hey! [points to Marie]
Mitch: Oh, no, she's cool. Marie, you're cool right?
Marie: Of course! I'm cool. But I don't think Dan's interested in her.
Mitch: He's not?
Dan: I'm not?
Marie: I don't think you are. Are you?
[Dan gets up to go dance with Ruthy] Mitch: Oh, alright! I don't know, but it seems like something was holding him back before.
Marie: Not anymore.
Mrs. Burns: Why you're persistent in acting like a 15 year-old is beyond me.
Dan: I'm filled with reckless desire.
Mrs. Burns: You ought to be filled with greater restraint.
Dan: What does that mean?
Mrs. Burns: I think you know what that means.
Jane: Dad, Lily just asked me why you were flirting with Marie.
Dan: I wasn't flirting.
Jane: Don't worry, I covered for you. I told her it was nothing.
Dan: Because it was!
Jane: Dad, I'm Seventeen. You were so flirting. And besides, it's not like she's the least bit interested in you anyway.
Cara: You don't have to worry. When it comes to sex, Marty's the one who wants to wait.
Dan: What about that sentence is supposed to give me comfort?
Cara: What we have is true love. Just because you don't have it doesn't mean you have to punish us for it!
Dan: Infatuation is not love. Sexual attraction is not love.
Cara: you don't understand.
Dan: Ah, I don't understand.
Cara: You don't even understand that you don't understand!
Dan: What don't I understand, Cara? Please, help me out. What is it? Is it frustrating that you can't be with this person? That there's something keeping you apart, that there's something about this person that you really connect with? And when you're near this person, you don't know what to say, and you say everything in your mind and in your heart, and you know, that if you could just be together, that this person would help you become the best possible version of yourself?
Cara: So Marty can stay?
Dan: Look, I'm not your parent, but I should warn you: love is a dangerous feeling.
Marty: No sir.
Dan: Are you arguing with me?
Marty: No, I'm....It's just that...[speaks spanish]. Love is not a feeling, it's an ability.
Dan: Who told you that?
Marty: I made it up Mr. Burns.
Marie: It's sweet.
Dan: What's sweet? How is that sweet?
Marie: To be so certain; to feel that much love...
Dan: Love. Love isn't a feeling.
Dan: It's an ability.
Marie: Well, if that's true, you have one gifted daughter!
Cara: YOU ARE A MURDERER OF LOVE!
Aunt 1: Dan, what's your talent?
Dan: Murderer of Love.
Marie: What was that?
Dan: I couldn't...I couldn't stop myself.
Marie: What am I supposed to do?
Dan: You can't do anything. He's my brother.
Marie: Why did you sing for me? Then?
Dan: Because, I....I'm...
Marie: Page 92, did I just die because an Angel walked into the room? Page 148, uh, I'll forgive you your past if you'll forgive me mine? It seems all of his best lines were yours! It's unbearable. I can't keep pretending.
Mitch: Please stop trying to act normal.
She said I was a great guy, that she loved me a lot, and then she said...we should both go try to find our own true soul mates.
I'm so confused, I don't understand what happened from yesterday to today that made this happen. There has to be something, some reason she...
Dan: Why are you looking at me?
Mitch: I'm not looking at you.
Uncle 1: He's looking into the vast void that is his future; you just happen to be there.
Officer: You again.
Dan: Nice to see you officer, how are you today?
Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Dan: Yes sir. I know what I was doing and I know that it's all wrong.
Officer: This is going to cost you.
Dan: Put it on my tab.
Officer: What was that?
Dan: Put it on my tab. [laughs awkwardly]
Marie: What are we doing?
Dan: It may be wrong, but there's a certain rightness to our wrongness, I think.
Marie: Do you think uh, they've gotta think, you've got the girls, and they're...they're extraordinary. I mean...what?
Dan: I think this is all premature.
Marie: You do...
Dan: We don't even know if you can bowl.
Dan: Girls, you can leave if you want.
Columnist: Oh, if it's alright, perhaps they should stay. We like to keep the whole family involved.
Mitch: Well Danny here knows all about keeping things in the family, don't you Dan?
Columnist's daughter: Well, see, that's why we're so drawn to you. What you represent in your column; your personal values...
Columnist: Your personal characteristics that are reflected in your writing are very impressive.
Columnist's daughter: Honesty, Trustworthiness.
Columnist: We have great plans for you Dan. We try to do what you keep telling your readers to do.
Dan: What's that?
Columnist: Put family first.
Dan: Okay, okay, here's the thing: Somebody hasn't been reading his own column.
Dan: I really messed up.
Mrs. Burns: No you didn't.
Dan: Yeah I did mom. What I did to Lily...
Mr. Burns: Don't forget Mitch. And those newspaper people...
Mrs. Burns: Admittedly not a good day for you.
Dan: If I just stayed focused on being their Dad....
Mrs. Burns: Oh, please. Love is messy.
Dan: I shouldn't have done it. I hurt my kids.
Mrs. Burns: Go un-hurt them. You've made some mistakes--
Mr. Burns: Many. So many.
Mrs. Burns: --falling for Marie wasn't one of them.
Dan: I know I messed up.
Jane: Yes you did.
Dan: Now, your mom...I miss your mom. All the time.
Lily: Mom's gone.
Dan: Oh, honey. I see her every day. I see in your goodness, Jane. And Cara, your passion. And Lily, you have her eyes. And her smile. So here is what I'm going to do. I am grounding myself for life. And so I will be with you--
Jane: You're with us every day.
Dan: I'm not going anywhere. See, I got a little confused with Marie. That is over, okay? I kind of lost my head. I got a little stupid, because I love her. No, that's not...I don't love her. and that's not what I meant. I mean, how could I love her? I've only known her..
Cara: Three days.
Dan: Yeah. And how can you know in three days? Well, no. Yes I do. I love her. I love her, I love her, I love her. I love her.
Jane: Then go get her.
Cara: We so prefer her to you.
Lily: Go. [hugs Dan and whispers] Now.
Dan: Dear Readers, for most of you, this is my first column in your paper. In the future, I will be answering your questions, but today I want to break from my usual format and talk to you about the subject of plans. Not so much my plan for this column, but life plans, and how we all make them. And how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we're really honest with ourselves, our plans usually don't work out as we had hoped. So instead of asking our young people "What are you plans? What do you plan to do with your life?" maybe we should tell them this: Plan to be surprised.
Peter Hedges, Dan in Real Life. 2007.