He plays along as Binoche rattles off all the things she is looking for in a book, and scoops up titles from around the shelves. She winds down and then Carrell lays out his selections for her: some Emily Dickinson, some Neruda (which they both sigh over), “Anna Karenina”, a biography of Gandhi (Carrell justifies this choice “because he is the coolest guy ever”) and a children’s book, “Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi (one of my kids’ favorites when they were little) for levity.
Here’s where the movie veers off into sheer fantasy; Binoche, without looking at one price tag, declares that all of the books picks are perfect and declares to the now-available bookstore owner that she will take them all. Hah! My own Dan in Real Life and I do a lot of book recommendations in the course of a day’s work at our used bookstore, and not once in twelve years has someone slavishly followed our suggestions. We have achieved a reputable bit of handselling success, particularly around the holidays when last minute shoppers zip in and out quickly, but scoring 5 out of 5 is unbelievable. Similarly, it is the rare customer that just racks up a pile of books on the counter without glancing at the price on the front flyleaf.
Despite this lapse into science fiction, the movie was an intelligent and interesting romantic comedy that the whole family enjoyed. The kids got hooked when they found out Dane Cook was involved and the adults enjoyed the interesting characters and side plots. And a bookstore scene always rocks.