Two movies in two weeks feature widower dads learning to move on with (not from) loss. In "Dan in Real Life," Steve Carrell feels that he might be able to love again for the first time since his wife died when he meets life force Juliette Binoche (she laughs, she listens, she cooks, she hugs, and she's great with kids). In "Martian Child," John Cusack feels that he might be able to love again for the first time since his wife died when he takes steps to adopt a child who is either odd or disturbed but qualifies as a life force because he is a child and therefore does not have to cook or hug or anything except for be young and need love.
The movies have some other similarities. Both use bowling(!) as a marker for happy-fun-bonding time (has the bowling association banded together for product placement? Both feature rattled and sheepish dads getting stopped by the police for traffic violations. Both have someone show up at exactly the wrong time, creating consternation and misunderstandings. But that probably happens in more movies than not. Cusack is going to be bereaved again soon. His next film, "Grace is Gone," is about a man whose wife is killed in Iraq.