Dan Burns is a widower with three daughters. Every year, at the holidays, his extended family gets together at the parents' beach house, but this year, Dan's family is in an uproar. His oldest daughter is straining toward adulthood, his middle daughter is having her first real crush, and his youngest appears to be lost in the shuffle. Dan feels lost, as many do around the holiday season.
While at his parents' house, Dan is sent out on an errand to get newspapers at the local bookshop. There he meets Marie, who is beautiful and talented, though slightly confused. The two hit it off and spend most of the day together. Dan is elated, and wants to see Marie again, but she tells him that she is in a new relationship and has to go. When Dan returns to the house, he is shocked to find that Marie's "new relationship" is with his brother, and that she will be spending the holidays with the family.
Dan in Real life provides opportunities to look at grief, loss, the trials of parenting, and the trials of childhood.
Movie Sermon's General Warning
Dan in Real Life contains a few profanities, and some sexual innuendo.