Dr. Donna Copeland’s




My first thought about this movie is 'why would Oscar winning director Ron Howard stoop to the level of a silly buddy comedy starring the meritless Vince Vaughn? While Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) had moderate success with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was a family film, Howard wastes his talent and, moreover, his ability to deliver big budget films on this forgettable January comedy. Oscar winning actress Jennifer Connelly, who won her accolade under the direction of Howard, must be desperate to revive her slow motion career because this, along with her past few films, has underrated her emotional abilities as an actor. Winona Ryder is the only person in this film with anything to gain.

Best friends since college and now business partners in the creative automotive industry, Ronny Valentine (Vaughn) is the mouth of the partnership while Nick Brannen (James) is the engineer. They are working on a new car for Dodge, but all is disrupted when Ronny, preparing his proposal for girlfriend Beth (Connelly), catches Nick’s wife Geneva (Ryder) with another man (Channing Tatum). His dilemma of whether or not to tell his best friend begins to torment and eat at him until his life is turned upside down from this burning secret. Threatened by Beth not to tell and not wanting to add stress to Nick while working on the new prototype, Ronny makes one bad choice after another.

Like most of Vaughn's and James's comedies, this one lacks funny material. Both Vaughn (The Wedding Crashers) and James (Mall Cop) are comfortable doing their comedy routine in every film the same way every time; neither are talented enough as actors to break away from their familiar formula. American movie audiences want to go to the theater and eat, laugh and spill their drinks all over themselves to familiar routines with predictable, and in this case, irritating outcomes that have simple solutions to the everyman.  

Many times while watching these types of plots, there is nothing more annoying than wishing a character would just get to the point. Friend knows best friends wife is cheating; you tell him, the end. However, you can’t really make a movie based on a two minute conversation. So screenwriter Alan Loeb (Wall Street Money Never Sleeps, Things We Lost in the Fire) once again delivers a script that is much to do about nothing; taking one simple conversation and making it a ridiculous experience. The only positive aspect to this movie was a scene where Beth and Ronny try to come to an agreement and Ryder display’s this nasty side that is similar to what we saw of her in Black Swan. Ryder’s semi villainous role was fun to watch.

Final Thought – Completely annoying and void of any original entertainment value.

Grade D+

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Michael Woody  

  The Dilemma is a movie that doesn’t really grab you.  It is a story of male bonding, difficulties in love commitments, entrepreneurs trying to sell a product, trust/communication with others—just too many themes.  This could have been a fine movie about the question of whether one should tell a best friend about his cheating spouse, but over-the-top silly scenes and a mishmash of sub-plots detract from what could be an engaging story.  Although it’s supposed to be a comedy, it doesn’t pull many laughs.  Vince Vaughn is too type-cast, and his attachment to Jennifer Connelly just isn’t believable.  She is convincing in her concern for him, but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about what is involved in a loving relationship.  The other couple is not believable as two people who have been married for years.  Their shenanigans seem to have been devised simply as backgrounds or situations for the Vaughn character to act/react toward.  I kept wondering how Ron Howard and Jennifer Connelly could have been involved in this film.

  In the end, this is a tiresome story about men behaving like clueless boys.  I wonder why some people think these kinds of stories are funny.