PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving sexual content.
January 14, 2011
Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Queen Latifah, Channing Tatum
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Vince Vaughn and Kevin James’ new movie, The Dilemma, is one of those flicks you really wanted to like, but can’t. Directed by the legendary Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon), the film just has too many strikes against it to make it a worthy movie choice this weekend.
Unnecessary plotlines and characters bog down a generally intriguing story of a man who wrestles with if/when he should tell his best friend that his wife is cheating on him. Offensive sexual content is a major problem, and though the film offers a few funny moments, some of the "comedy" doesn't deliver.
The Movie in a Minute
Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) have been best friends since college, and spend a lot of time together as they are also partners in an auto design firm. Desperate to land a contract with a major auto company, the two are under immense pressure to deliver. Trouble creeps up when Ronny spots Nick’s wife, Geneva (Winona Ryder), with another man. Conflicted about when to tell Nick about her infidelity, Ronny creates tension in his own budding relationship with girlfriend, Beth (Jennifer Connelly). In an attempt to get the full picture, Ronny investigates the affair and learns that his friend Nick may have a few secrets of his own. With the work project looming, Ronny must decide what to do about tell Nick what Geneva’s been doing behind his back.
What Works -- and Doesn't -- in The Dilemma
The Dilemma has a couple of things going for it: the cast (particularly the Vaughn/James combo) and the cinematography. With a cast also including Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah, the comedy’s standout performances come from the two male leads, Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers) and Kevin James (The King of Queens). These two comedic actors are great together. The overall cinematic feel of the movie is also a strength in The Dilemma. With director Ron Howard at the helm, most of the fundamentals (music, editing, and casting) converge well.
However, the movie does have its weaknesses, and unfortunately, they outweigh the good. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving sexual content, The Dilemma is more or less on the cusp of being a R-rated film, with profanities and obscenities, not to mention the sexual comments mainly spoken by Queen Latifah’s unnecessary character. Her role, as the contact between Ronny, Nick and the auto company, is inconsequential to the main storyline. She isn’t on-screen for very long during the movie, but her sexually-laden remarks come across as shock value humor, and it just wasn’t funny. Her scenes aren’t the only awkward comedy found in the film. At the beginning, Ronny shares about a man who shot his wife with an arrow, twice. Though the character’s offered nervous laughs, that “comic” moment fell flat. Talk of getting “happy endings” at a massage parlor also enters the conversation when faithfulness in marriage is questioned. Moviegoers should also know there is a sex scene, containing nudity.
In the End
Though the film addresses the issues many marriages face, it allows for too many excuses when wrongs are confronted. The takeaway is a good one: honesty in all relationships, whether it’s a friendship or a romantic relationship, is paramount. That said, The Dilemma, with it’s unnecessarily offensive content and way too many back storylines, is not a favorite.
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Hannah Goodwyn is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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