Smile. Now hold that... for FIVE MONTHS. Feel tension in your cheeks? Forehead? No wonder the Joker had a death wish.
Dan's smile eventually vanished, thanks to his mother-in-law. Not like THAT — it was her minestrone. Dan took a slurp, closed his eyes,... and a warm, genuine smile overtook him, unlocking everything. Dan almost kissed her (but c'mon: mother-in-law).
Some take Dan's story as some kind of fable, something about gratitude and simple pleasures, about irony and letting go.
It's just MSG.