#10. Dan in Real Life
Every list of this kind requires a sweet, yet tangy dessert, and director Peter Hedges' movie is just the thing to cleanse your palate. The wonderful Steve Carell plays the eponymous hero, a man burdened by rue, who finds a restorative love (the divine Juliette Binoche) at a family holiday gathering somewhere on the picturesque New England coast. She is believably forbidden to him. But with a little help from his relatives by current movie standards an uncommonly witty and well-spoken crowd Dan amusingly arrives at a happy, but not Hollywoodish, ending to his romantic yearnings without once violating the perfect comic-romantic pitch of the movie. As anyone who has spent much time at the movies this year, all right, any recent year, this is not a matter easily or routinely achieved. Two cheers, at least, for a movie that plays well and easily within itself.
Next Top 10 DVDs