Movie Review: The Dillema (2011)

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Comedy
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Ronny Valentine (Vince Vaughn) and Nick Brennan (Kevin James) have been friends since college.  They are also working on a project together for Dodge, a device that makes a hybrid engine sound like a muscle car.  Ronny’s single, but getting serious about Beth (Jennifer Connolly) Nick is married to Geneva (Winona Ryder) but Nick’s workaholic ways are putting a strain on the marriage.  While finding a spot to propose to Beth, Ronny sees Geneva making out with Zip (Channing Tatum) A short time later Ronny confront Geneva about her cheating ways.  First, Geneva tries to blame Nick, but when Ronny doesn’t buy that, she resorts to blackmailing Ronny, and telling Nick that she and Ronny slept together.  Undaunted, Ronny tries to get pictures of Zip and Geneva sleeping together, the result of which is a brawl between Zip and Ronny.  When they see Ronny battered and bruised, Ronny’s friends think he’s gambling again and stage an intervention, including Zip?  Does the truth finally come out about Geneva and Zip, do Ronny and Nick ever get to present their device to Dodge?  Or does Ronny lose everything and return to gambling?

OK the idea of a device to make a hybrid sound like a muscle car is preposterous, but this movie works because it’s a buddy movie and who wouldn’t want to help a buddy out if one buddy sees the other buddy’s wife cheating on him?  So we’re taken in by that premise.  It doesn’t hurt that the jokes work, not all of them mind you, but a lot  of them do, any movie that can make Channing Tatum funny is a pretty damn good movie, and he is funny in this movie.  Vince Vaughn plays the kind of friend anyone would want, he fights through blackmail threats, getting beaten to a pulp, getting a poisonous rash, all to save his friend from his evil wife.  Vaughn is asked to carry a lot of the weight in this movie and des so successfully and almost effortlessly.  He has funny aspects to his role, and serious aspects and handles each with equal ease, helped along with the serious parts by Connelly and Ryder. Ryder plays a woman with a serious attitude malfunction, and she seems to enjoy the role.   I was disappointed in Queen Latifah’s role, she was a one joke character and the joke wasn’t that funny.  Kevin James was severely underutilized, he is a gifted standup, and a surprisingly good physical comedian, he needed a bigger role.  One thing that really stood out was Ron Howard’s directing, he enhanced the comedy by interspersing little vignettes whenever Vaughn would tell a story, I don’t know how those vignettes were written, but they were shot perfectly.

The Dilemma:  Dial Emma for laughter.

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