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Monday, January 24, 2011


The Dilemma is a story about two good friends, who find themselves in a huge mess of problems. Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) have been best friends since college. Now, they work together in the world of auto design, and are about to come through on a very big break through which is making an electric car sound like a gas powered one. Ronny has a lovely girlfriend, Beth (Jennifer Connely), who he is afraid of proposing to, and Nick has been married for a while now to a girl he met back at school, Geneva (Winona Ryder). Sure this is all pretty stressful stuff, but then Ronny sees Geneva kissing a mysterious fellow at the botanical gardens, and that is when the dilemma begins.

The Dilemma

Ronny doesn't know what to do about this. Does he tell Nick and possibly ruin the deal they are about to make? Does he confront Geneva? Does he wait till its too late? Well, with out spoiling anything, Ronny goes on a tirade trying to fix his friends marriage by himself, and this tirade leads to un-earthing things in both Nick' and his own relationships. How will everything work out?

The theme of the movie is honesty with a hint of trust. It does seem that most problems arrive from bad communication, and to Ron Howard (the directors) credit, the characters at least try to communicate their problems to one another, where I feel that if this film was done by another director they would not. This makes the film feel very human.  Every character feels pretty 3 dimensional, and has a side to their argument that you can not only understand, but can usually agree with, and it is clear that they all have lives when they are not on the screen.

If anything, the film makes you think "What would I do if I were in this situation?" and even with 20/20 hindsight, the answer is not an easy one to come to. There are so many variables in a friendship or relationship, that this would always be a risky thing to figure out. I applaud the cast and team of The Dilemma for not taking the easy way out, and presenting generally believable (or at least, understandable) scenarios.

The only problem I had with this movie really was it's billing as a comedy. It's trying to be, but it really just isn't. Overall to me, the movie felt confused with what it wanted to be. Some of the scenes were laugh out loud hilarious, especially all of the ones with Channing Tatum, who plays Zip, the guy Geneva is getting frisky with. Many other scenes were quite dramatic, but there were a good amount of scenes that just fell flat somewhere in the middle, with jokes that weren't funny or drama that wasn't real drama and just panned out in a weird way. Maybe they were afraid to go too dramatic with the picture, but just didn't take some of it as far as it needed to go. Still though, this movie is worth the watch if anything to prepare yourself for a situation that I hope you are never in. The movie preaches that honesty and open communication is the best policy, and though I believed that before I saw it, after watching I can only agree further.

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