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The Dilemma

A movie directed by Ron Howard

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Fairly suitable name.

  • May 23, 2011
** 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 career and puts them into a movie. So basically, you've got your good things, your entertaining things, and your oh-so-bad-things, making for a pretty uneven movie.

The film has a cast that will probably attract as many as it will disappoint. People going to this movie- casual movie-goers and cinephiles alike- will probably leave disappointed. People expecting Kevin James, one of the leads, to generate laughs by falling on his ass like only a classic fat-man can, will leave in tears of sheer boredom and disappointment. This film is being billed as a comedy, but ironically enough, this isn't funny.

The film involves two dreamers Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James), who hope to get a job working for Honda on a car. But are (happily married), and equally as ready to let the good times roll. For a while, it doesn't seem like this film is going to do anything, that is until our buddy Ronny sees Nick's wife with another man...in a greenhouse!

Ronny is a good friend, so he goes to investigate; perhaps intending to foil the wife (Winona Ryder) and her dirty little secret. Ronny goes, takes the pictures he needs, but not before getting himself (and his car) beaten up by the lady's new "dude" (Channing Tatum). What follows is basically an abundance of annoying Hollywood dramatic clich├ęs, comedy that's intended to be ironic (such as Tatum's character being a real softy and not so much the bad-ass that he appears to be). None of it is really appealing; thus none of it really fits in.

There are times when I hate Vince Vaughn, and there are times when I kind of love him. He's not too bad here, and this isn't his worse performance, but I like how Vaughn is an actor who wouldn't have to take these mediocre roles if he didn't want to, or "need" the money. Vaughn has displayed good and even great talent in the past. Here, he's just "meh". Kevin James is as unappealing as ever, but I must give him some credit; at least he didn't fall on his fat ass to get laughs. Come to think of it, he doesn't get any laughs at all. This I find strange, because James is always trying to make you laugh. But the thing that's so deviously unfunny about it is the fact that he knows it.

There are some good laughs, I'll admit. They are scarce, and not too hard to pick out, but they are worth treasuring when comparing the rest of the film to its little "moments". The trouble is that the comedy is both slapstick and at times, even dark. I like my humor as dark as anyone does, but this movie just doesn't do anything with its attributes. Sure, it's about infidelity and stuff, but it also makes almost comedic references to cannibalism, beating someone's face in with a baseball bat, and an abundance of other potentially dark subjects. Fun!

The film remains mildly entertaining throughout, but never engaging. I really can't imagine anyone who values comedy enjoying it; for it's a real mess. But aren't most, if not nearly all comedies this day messy and boring? Why yes, they are. "The Dilemma" still doesn't get off the hook though. And it's not really worth seeing either.

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More The Dilemma reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
And the latest epic from groundbreaking Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard is....... The Dilemma! Haha just kidding, this is far from an epic and definitely not the greatest film from the director. It isn't horrible, but its by no means good. I think this probably would have done better had it not been marketed as a comedy seeing as not once did I even giggle. This also had the same problem that Diary of a Wimpy Kid had, it didn't have a likeable protagonist thus drowning out the …
review by . June 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
1 star: The dilemma is that this film can't find one
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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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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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