Saturday, January 15, 2011

Movie Review: The Dilemma

As I’ve said repeatedly, January is like a movie graveyard. It’s where bad movies go to be released. It’s as far away as you can get from awards season; people are burnt out from the holidays and aren’t seeing too many flicks; and, everything really worth season is being saved for summer (or nowadays even spring) or fall as the ramp of for awards seasons begin. As such, forgettable movies come out in January.

I went into The Dilemma with the requisite low expectations, and I came out pleasantly surprised. I actually kind of liked The Dilemma. Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) play best friends who run a business building hybrid car engines. They are sort of a dynamic duo with Ronny being the fast-talking salesman and Nick being the brains behind the scenes. It isn’t surprising that Ronny, the fast-talker, is slow to commit to his sous chef girlfriend, Beth (Jennifer Connelly), or that Nick, the stable one, is happily married to the beautiful Geneva (Winona Ryder). In Hollywood, the average guy always ends up with the hot wife. However, I digress.

Things get complicated when planning a proposal for Beth, Ronny sees Geneva with the truly hot Channing Tatum playing a hottie named Zip. Now Ronny has quite the dilemma: to tell or not to tell? And then, how to tell and when to tell? While figuring all of this out, his dilemma gets even more complicated when he realizes that even the innocent party isn’t as innocent as he seems.

The Dilemma takes a real dilemma which, if you have a best friend (and I have several) makes you wonder what you would do and how would you do it. Unfortunately, as a comedy, the dilemma The Dilemma faces is making this scenario funny. There were a few laugh out moments in my audience (one lady laughed VERY loud), but to me there should have been more of those. Queen Latifah has a few funny moments as the executive from Dodge who is working with them on a big partnership opportunity. Still I wanted more.

Directed by Ron Howard, there are a few scenes that might have packed a greater punch if they had been a little shorter. There is a painfully long ‘toast’ Ronny does at Beth’s parents 40th anniversary that focuses on the importance of honesty in a marriage. We got it. Ronny made his point but it just kept going on and on. As did the fight scene between Ronny and Zip, call ‘cut’ already!

If your dilemma is whether or not to see The Dilemma, I’ll make it easy for you. If you really want to see it, make it a matinee. Otherwise, wait for the DVD.

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