"The acting is terrific throughout, with gems by Tucci, Clarkson, Byrd and Church"
Hollywood Reporter Sep 10th 2010
High school is hard; for Norman Long, triply so. Having recently lost his mother in an auto accident, now his father is dying of cancer. Confused, hurting, and angry, he traverses his senior year by keeping everyone at arm’s length with his dark wit, depressing declarations, and disinterested demeanor. When his only friend attempts to press into the woundedness, Norman deflects by declaring that he has cancer and is dying. Speaking this half-truth (for while Norman doesn’t have cancer, he is dying inside) sets in motion a cascade of consequences that erodes Norman’s hardened exterior and creates an opportunity for honesty and love.
While Norman could have easily fallen into the mire of your typical teenage angst film, it flies above this self-involved type of cinema on the backs of its two lead actors (Dan Byrd as Norman and the always brilliant Richard Jenkins as his father). Both actors bring a no-nonsense approach to their craft here and willingly subject themselves to the full-range of emotions one would expect between a young son and his dying father. Eschewing melodrama, the actors set the right tone between honesty, humor, and heartache. I shudder to think how off-track this film could have gone were it not for Dan Byrd’s willingness to risk and Richard Jenkins’ mature presence.
In addition to its fine acting, this film has a compelling score provided by versatile composer/songwriter Andrew Bird. I appreciate music that compliments a story and does not seek to draw attention to itself, and Mr. Bird’s score provides the appropriate emotional punch when necessary but never attempts to make more of itself.
At its core, Norman is a resurrection film; a story about life out of death. As one might imagine, such a rebirth is not easy nor all together fun; yet, this movie has plenty of sweet moments to soften hard edges (not to mention some beautiful cinematography that also helps). As you stand on your two new wobbly feet at film’s end, I guarantee that you’ll be better for having joined Norman in his bittersweet journey.
''Jules' son is played by Dan Byrd with a sweet, dry sense of delivery that recalls Neil Patrick Harris.''
ABC Entertainment News - "Cougar Town'' 2009
" The huge supporting cast is all good, especially Dan Byrd as Jules' perpetually mortified teenage son''
AZCentral.com - "Cougar Town" 2009
"When your show continues to employ the under appreciated gem that is Aliens In America survivor Dan Byrd, you get a second, third, well, as many chances as you need to make it work''
thetvaddict.com - "Cougar Town" 2009
"Dan Byrd (who I've been touting on this blog since Aliens in America) has the sardonic son thing down."
IamaTVjunkie - "Cougar Town" 2009
"Byrd does a great job of convincing us that having Jules as a mother would be embarrassing"
buzzsugar.com - "Cougar Town" 2009
"In Aliens in America [Dan] played someone the complete opposite of his serial killer wanna-be in Heroes. Dan grew up in the business and can bounce between these two extremes. Zach Quinto has always been a lovely and very focused guy on set. But my personal observation was that he seemed even more relaxed on this one and that he enjoyed the scene he played with Dan."
Beeman's Blog - "Heroes" 2009
"Dan Byrd is impressive as a scaled-down, teen version of Doug"
Variety - ''The Hills Have Eyes'' 2006
"Dan Byrd gives the movie's best performance as Sam's actor pal, a beanpole given to daily costume changes. Byrd plays this young man as smart and confident, the kind of guy who will grow up to be a real catch. Too bad there are no romantic sparks between the pals. Now, THAT would have been a welcome twist on Cinderella."
San Francisco Chronicle - "A Cinderella Story" 2004
About.com - Interview about 'A Cinderella Story' - 2004
E! Online - Interview about 'Aliens In America' - 2006
TV.com - Interview about 'Cougar Town' - 2009