The Dilemma


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

"There are a couple of good laughs but they certainly don't carry two hours of film."

What's The Dilemma? A man centered rom-com, so start with a man, Ronny Valentine (Vince Vaughn), a 40 year bachelor who wants to propose to his girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly). Make him a proper man who likes fast cars and and talking about sport. Make him a recovering gambling addict who is self centered and brash, who has a simplistic view of relationships. Add a married couple, Nick (Kevin James) and Geneva (Winona Ryder) Brannen. He has known both since collage.

Ronny is in the process of booking the perfect venue for his proposition when he witnesses Geneva with another man, Zip (Channing Tatum). Should he tell Nick? He and Nick are bossiness partners developing really noisy engines for muscle cars. Telling him could scupper their deal with Chrysler. He finds out that Nick has been getting hand jobs in massage parlors. Still, should he tell Nick? Should he barge around like a bull in a china shop?

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Crash about the film does, somewhere between cringing situational comedy and slapstick, never quite making up its mind about what it wants to be. There are a couple of good laughs but they certainly don't carry two hours of film. And just because it's a comedy doesn't mean that the actors should leave their acting talent at the door and cut a big slice of ham. The plot, characters and dialogue are all rather shallow. There is some witty well timed banter at the start but this wears thin after a short while.

One last thing is that conversations about relationships and business are couched in the language of American sport: game seven; playoffs; red zones; end zones; sports stars; ice hockey. Is this the only way men can talk to each other, through the medium of the sports commentary cliché? One cliché fits this film well: The Dilemma drops the ball.

Reviewed on: 21 Jan 2011
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The Dilemma packshot
A socially awkward guy agonises over whether or not to tell his business partner that his wife is unfaithful.
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Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Allan Loeb

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah

Year: 2011

Runtime: 111 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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