Posts Tagged ‘The Dilemma’


the_dilemma08In “The Dilemma,” the latest from director Ron Howard, Vince Vaughn and Kevin James star as car designers trying create a new, sporty hybrid automobile. It’s a fitting job for them as the movie is kind of a hybrid itself, two parts screwball comedy to one part drama.

Vaughn and James are Ronny and Nick, best friends and business partners who relate to one another mostly by speaking in football metaphors. By day they work together, creating a new hybrid car for Dodge; at night (in the beginning of the movie anyway) they and their significant others, girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly) and wife Geneva (Winona Ryder), hang out, tight as peas in a pod. Everything changes one day, however, when Ronny sees Geneva kissing another man, the muscle-bound stud Zip (Channing Tatum). Enter the dilemma. Does he tell his best friend that his wife is having an affair and risk ruining their marriage and adding stress to Nick’s life when they are on the cusp of the biggest business deal of their careers?

At the heart of “The Dilemma” is Vince Vaughn, once the charming actor of “Swingers” and a series of comedies like “Wedding Crashers,” now a one-trick-pony who relies a bit too heavily on his uncanny ability to string together long uninterrupted phrases of hip back talk. It was funny in 2005, amusing in 2007 and has now worn out its welcome. What happened to the actor capable of interesting work in movies like “Into the Wild”? He’s become guilty of recycling the same character from movie to movie with only small variations.

Here he plays a self-centered meddler who sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong. Sure there are a few laughs — and only a few — along the way, but they come with a been-there-done-that feeling of déjà Vaughn.

Otherwise it’s an adult sit-com whose idea of humor is to have the stocky Kevin James deliver lines like, “Love can be very filling, like a warm stew.” The serious stuff, and there’s more than you would expect in a movie marketed as a comedy, doesn’t really ring true, but at least Jennifer Connelly brings an air of authenticity to the relationship end of her story.

Most of “The Dilemma’s” best moments are in the trailer, a two-minute synopsis of the story, which benefits from the lack of Vaughn’s motor-mouth riffing. Come to think of it, the entire movie could have benefitted from less Vaughn and more jokes.

Infidelity can be treacherous ground for Hollywood In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: January 12, 2011

the-dilemmaSometimes it seems like Hollywood is obsessed with infidelity, both on screen and off.

Celebrity cheating scandals—Jesse and the porn star, Tiger and, well, everyone—covered the front pages recently, and Zsa Zsa Gabor once famously said, ‘How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?”

Even supposedly happily-ever-after-Tinseltown-couples preemptively guard against unfaithfulness by signing “cheat-proof” prenups. Catherine Zeta-Jones has a legal infidelity clause with Michael Douglas and it’s rumoured that Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen signed one worth more than $4 million.

In this weekend’s The Dilemma — a funny take on infidelity — Vince Vaughn discovers his best friend’s wife is having an affair. There have been adultery comedies before but usually on screen in American films there is a price to be paid for matrimonial betrayal. Ever since the first cheating Hollywood movie, 1915’s Infidelity, movies like The End of the Affair, Body Heat and Derailed have shown the consequences of bed hopping, but one movie stands head and shoulder above the rest as a cautionary tale.

Fatal Attraction begins with Michael Douglas, a married man, who has a fling with Glenn “I’m not gonna be ignored!” Close. When he tries to break off their affair, she becomes a lesson in why not to cheat on your wife.

The film was a sensation in 1987 and its most famous clip, the rabbit boiling on the stove, even inspired a phrase in the Urban Dictionary. According to the website, cook your rabbit “refers to the moment when someone goes over the edge in their obsession with another person.”

Fatal Attraction was a box office bonanza, inspiring a number of imitators including The Crush, Single White Female and a spoof called Fatal Instinct.

More poignant is Same Time Next Year, the story of a 26-year affair. Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn star as an extramarital couple who rendezvous once a year from youth to old age. Based on a stage play by Canadian Bernard Slade, it’s a nice mix of humour — when asked how many kids he has Alda lies, saying two rather than three. “I thought it would make me seem less married,” he says — and emotion.

Perhaps the strangest infidelity movie on our list is Come With Me My Love, a supernatural tale about a man who kills his cheating wife, then commits suicide, only to come back as a ghost 50 years later to haunt his old apartment.