Movie Review: The Dilemma

Hey guys, remember puberty? You know, that period in your life spent gazing awkwardly across the room of your fourth hour social studies class, hoping to catch a glimpse of Miss Georgina’s breast as they slipped aimlessly out of her loose fitting sweater as she bent over carelessly to point out Iceland on the map to some misguided student. The erection you would spend hours trying to hide from your peers over the thought of possibly seeing some slightly overweight and moderately attractive college intern’s bra strap seem utterly embarrassing in hindsight, yet we continue the same behavior every time we leave the house and enter a theater. Yep, I said it. I compared your awkward junior high hard on to catching a movie. Stick with me and I’ll explain why.

There is something inside of us that tends to pine so badly for entertainment that we will spend hours just hoping to catch the slightest glimpse of it. Vince Vaughn is a fairly good example of this. Sure Swingers was rather brilliant, just as that first discovery of breast was in the sixth grade. But you have to ask yourself, was it ever really worth standing in front of the classroom with a math book in front of your gym shorts? Should we really be sitting through Dodgeball or The Dilemma hoping to catch a glimmer of Wedding Crashers?

No. Absolutely not.

While The Dilemma isn’t really a bad film (i.e. Glitter), it certainly isn’t good. Realistically, the film itself simply lacks a reason to exist. Honestly, it wastes nearly two hours on a concept that a simple conversation could have summed up in two sentences. They are as follows: “Hey man, your wife is Winona Ryder. She switches make out partners quicker than the Yankees change their starting lineup.” Instead, Vaughn spends the course of the film flip flopping between creating a eco-friendly car with balls with his bromance partner Kevin James and figuring out how to break it to James that Ryder is a whore. Sadly, neither plot succeeds. James simply lacks the chops to keep up with Vaughn and Ron Howard’s need to make a warm and fuzzy dramedy.

The fact is there is way too much pressure on Vaughn to put this film on his shoulders, while his ability to act on the fly and improv are present and help his character Ronny come off charming and believable. He couples well with Jennifer Connelly’s character Beth, who is often missing from the film, but likable when on screen.  Aside from those two however, Vaughn’s supporting cast does very little assisting. An aging Ryder plays, well, Winona Ryder while her partner Kevin James plays a less charming, clumsy version of Vaughn.

Sadly, this leaves a film aimed at being a comedy dry and darker than presented to the incoming audience. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t mean dry in the brilliant, Arrested Development kind of way. No, I mean dry in that, “Jesus Christ just get to the point so I can go home” kind of way. The fact is the few, effortless attempts for the film to be amusing are seen in the preview trailer already. These recycled bits of humor fall short of anyone who would pay 12 dollars on this flick.

My advice is pretty simple – miss this one. If you’ve waited this long for another film with the cult feel of Swingers, you’re not going to get it with The Dilemma. The odds are better for you to score by asking your sixth grade teacher’s assistant on a date.

I give The Dilemma 1 Smart Car out of 5

by Joshua Hammond

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