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The Dilemma

A movie directed by Ron Howard

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1 stars : "The Dilemma" is in a dilemma, it has no clue

  • Jun 11, 2011

You have been buddies with your best friend for the better part of twenty years; you trust each other more than anything trusts and rely on each other explicitly to help each other out whenever needed and back each other up whenever possible. You and your best friend work together and have a very successful business in the automotive industry and you love what you do more than anything else, but here is the dilemma. What if you found out that your best friend's wife was cheating on him? How would you relay this shocking turn of events to your best friend? How would you tell him that his wife of twenty years has been seeing a tatted up dude named Zip (Channing Tatum)!? How would you tell him, how could you tell him and most importantly would you tell him? Now that is the dilemma.

Ron Howard's "The Dilemma" is a slick, good-looking dark "comedy" that has a premise that any person can identify with in one way or another. It is such a shame that a movie with such an interesting idea must subject itself to the norms of modern day comedy. With its use of cruel and indecent slapstick, absurdly unlikable characters, long stretches of inane, cringe inducing over written dialogue and a plot so preposterous it boggles the mind in how anyone thought it would work as a film. "The Dilemma" tries it is hardest to find some middle ground between the cheesy sitcom antics, its violent burst of dark comedy, and its group of overbearing, whiny characters but it just cannot. All this film seems intent on doing is stretching an episode of “How I Met Your Mother" to film length without even the slightest bit of effort of trying to insert any intelligence, relevancy, or serious dramatic moments into it. This film is more concerned with just going through the motions of its rather mediocre script written by Allan Loeb that seems more invested in making a mountain out of a molehill with its story than simply going straight for the truth. The dilemma in "The Dilemma" is that this film has no clue what relationships, friendship or human nature is like for that matter it seems to think that they involve a group of insipid characters lying, fighting, nagging, swearing constantly, and cracking crude sex jokes. Being vile and insensitive to other people’s feelings making them fee lower than the dirt beneath their feet this is a nasty, cruel, irritating and downright vicious film that asserts my strong disdain for the genre of comedy.

I liked the cast in this film some of the actors in this film are people I admire and love to watch on the screen. Sadly, misused in this shamble of a movie that it almost becomes painful to watch them go through the motions of this films abysmal plot "The Dilemma" is a misguided film that thinks it is actually something worth going to the theater to see. Sadly, it is not even something that is worth renting let alone spending the sixteen bucks to sit there and be verbally assaulted by whiny characters that hammer this film straight into its own grave. "The Dilemma" is a misfire for director Ron Howard who has done far better work in the past and deserves better than this film can offer him, all he seems to be doing is directing an overblown, overlong and stretched to unbearable proportions episode of a rather gruesome sitcom in the "How I Met Your Mother" fashion. If done with more tact, style, wit, and intelligence, "The Dilemma" could have been a solid comedy-drama with good strong characters, an intriguing premise, and a story   everyone can relate. Instead goes for the cheesy and the cruel gags instead of taking the high road to movie greatness.

I have never had a real affinity for Vince Vaughn, I find him rather insipid and irritating in most of the roles that he plays and his latest role as Ronny Valentine furthers my disdain for Mr. Vince Vaughn. Vaughn plays Ronny Valentine, Ronny is a confirmed bachelor since college who is squeamish when it comes to relationships and commitment and is in a relationship with the beautiful Beth (Jennifer Connelly) who his friend Nick (Kevin James) is trying to convince him that she is the one. The main problem with the character of Ronny Valentine is that he is frankly, a moron. He spends half of this films unbearable running time breaking into people’s houses, threatening to burn their face off, killing a person's fish and getting into a fist fight with a tattooed lug hyped up on drugs (and take in mind that this is all in one scene). After finding out that his best friends wife is sleeping with another man. Ronny runs around pulling off one stupid stunt after another, after another, after another just trying to find the perfect way to tell his best friend that his wife is cheating on him. When Ronny does finally tell him (in front of a large group of people) neither Ronny nor the audience gets the result or the relief that they so justly deserved. Vaughn gives it his all, but in the end, it is is not enough. He fails to deliver any laughs or any dramatic depth as the lead and so for his failure the film is a failure. It had the opportunity, he had the opportunity, he missed his chance, and so he suffers for the blundering of the script and the less than swift hand of the director. The rest of the cast including Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin James, and Channing Tatum all give strong performances channeling characters that are rather unlikable in this mess of a film.

"The Dilemma" is a bad film with a good director, a good cast and a good idea gone off the rails and blows up in a searing cloud of smoke and fire in its own  self -indulgent  whims, it is the kind of film that takes pride in being the cruel, vile piece of attempted entertainment that it is. Much like last years, "Due Date" this film channels its immature, nasty, despicable, and disreputable and over all vicious atmosphere without thinking for a second about how it’s mean spirited, immature nature would affect its audience. "The Dilemma" just keeps chugging along to its cringe inducing and embarrassing finale. This film tries its best and seems to think it is enough, that what it is is good enough to be called good or even satisfactory for that matter. "The Dilemma" is a mixed up film that needs to find itself and think before it acts, sadly I only wish the screenwriter had thought  it through more thoroughly, this could have been a solid film instead of the steaming train wreck that it is.  

1 star: The dilemma is that this film can't find one

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July 03, 2011
I actually liked it, mainly because I love Kevin James.
August 13, 2011
There were some things in it that I did like. But sadly in the end there was too much that I absolutely despised, I just didn't find anything likable about this film.
June 12, 2011
That's too bad- I thought it sounded like a good idea and I liked the cast, too. I think I'll wait to have this as a Sunday afternoon cable movie. Thanks for sharing!
June 11, 2011
I finally saw this three evenings ago, I have to say I agree with your observations 100 %. I saw some areas with potential and the drama in the issue was lost amid all the senseless and unnecessary acts of slapstick comedy and forced sequences that didn't make sense; this should've been a solid dark comedy, instead it was filled with tonal shifts and bad characters. Too bad, it did have a great female cast. Excellent review!
June 12, 2011
Thank you very much. And I will admit that it did have some potential but as you said it was lost amid the senseless cheesy slapstick. It had such a good cast and a good director but it chooses crude instead of sensible, a true shame.
More The Dilemma reviews
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****     The trouble with comedy is that too often, people attempt to blend different styles. Only truly talented filmmakers can do that, and while comedy is pretty much the worse and blandest genre nowadays, which explains why so little GOOD filmmakers invest in such a genre picture. I was never impressed by Ron Howard aside from some of his earlier (or some of his modern) works. "The Dilemma", his newest "dilemma", pretty much calculates the ups-and-downs of Howard's …
review by . January 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The Dilemma tells the story of a recovering gambler who, after discovering that his best friend’s wife is having an affair, falls victim to his own guilty conscience and ultimately loses himself in strange, obsessive behaviors. Many directors would have used this idea as the basis for a psychological thriller, but in the hands of Ron Howard, it has become a comedy. This is puzzling because the basic scenario is anything but funny, and parts …
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Ron Howard's "The Dilemma" boasts an interesting premise, a great cast of talented actors but it ultimately falls flat on its face thanks to in part   to a horribly mired script and cheesy slapstick, dull moments and terribly overwritten scenes that drag this film down to the depths of movie hell. "The Dilemma" is a good-looking movie with good intentions and an idea but sad to say, with little wit, charm, style or frankly intelligence. "The …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It is really hard for me to put a finger on the film “The Dilemma”. It has a good premise; simple, but has something everyone can relate to. I mean, a problem where you saw your best friend’s heating wife making out with another man is a no brainer unless you have something that can hold you back from telling your best friend.      Vince Vaughn and Kevin James does make for a good ‘buddy’ pair, with Winona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly lending the …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
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About this movie


Vince Vaughn and Kevin James  will play best friends and business partners, and Vaughn's character is tortured when he observes his pal's wife getting intimate with another man in a restaurant. Should he tell?
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Director: Ron Howard
Release Date: 14 January 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Allan Loeb
Runtime: 112 min
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