Sometimes the universe listens to you. Like when you watch The Family Stone and say "gee, that was a good idea but what a very crap movie". The universe gets it's act into gear and makes a much better version.
That version is Dan in Real Life. Same as The Family Stone BUT GOOD!
The funny bits are funny, really funny. And the poignant bits don't suck. Steve Carell, like some good comedians (I'm thinking Jim Carrey right now), can do sad and a little crazy really well. He was great, as was the whole ensemble cast. Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney could sit on stools and whistle Dixie for an hour and forty minutes and I'd pay to see it.
Like Juno, it featured a great original soundtrack by some weird little dude called Sondre Lerche. And the almost mandatory, sung within the story, version of Pete Townshend's Let My Love Open The Door which is a song I love (and previously loved on the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack).
As a super little no-extra-charge bonus there is even a little adopted child in the family AND NO-ONE MENTIONS IT.... LIKE IT'S JUST PART OF NORMAL FAMILIES AND NORMAL LIFE!!! I almost couldn't believe it.
Thank you Universe!