Screenwriter Peter Hedges (About a Boy) also takes the director’s helm in this touching family-filled comedy headlined by the multi-talented Steve Carell (Evan Almighty, The Office). As Dan Burns, a widowed newspaper columnist, Carell enjoys an amazing supporting cast that strengthens his character.
Dan has three daughters. His youngest, Lily, played by Marlene Lawston (Flight Plan) can predictably pull the heartstrings while the oldest and wisest daughter, Jane, wants her father’s trust, especially when driving. “If you don't let me, I'll never learn,” she says to her Dad. “But if I let you, you might not live,” says Dan. Brittany Robertson plays Dan’s daughter Cara who’s madly in love with a boy at school, which predictably drives a protective father mad as well.
Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Chocolat) plays Marie, an extraordinary woman who comes into Dan’s life as he travels to his parents’ house for an annual family vacation. The chemistry between Carell and Binoche works well while anchoring the romantic elements of the film. Comedian extraordinaire Dane Cook (Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck) plays Dan’s brother Mitch while Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz plays Dan’s other brother, Clay. Their hilarious song collaboration, "Ruthie Pigface Draper", is a great testament to how all the entire supporting cast contributes so much into the film.
Dan’s parents are played by accomplished actors John Mahoney (Frasier) and Dianne Wiest (Parenthood). Other family members include Eileen, played by recent Oscar nominee Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), who could've had a bigger part, but fills her role well among the eclectic Burns family. The talented Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada) also plays a key role in the romantic elements of the film. Great music, mostly from Sondre Lerche, complements a low stress storyline where the only real antagonists to Dan are himself… and maybe the local cop.