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on May 26, 2011
Do you ever hear things through the grapevine that make you want to NOT like a movie? "The Dilemma" was one of those flicks for me. I heard so much bad stuff about it, that where I would typically want to watch it just to see how wrong everybody was, I actually didn't want to see it at all.

Quite frequently, problems occur at my local Blockbuster, where titles that are supposed to be on the shelf on a given day, aren't. So when this movie finally made it to the shelf 1 1/2 weeks after its release date (their excuse was that Direct TV bought out Blockbuster, and they were closing negotiation contracts with movie studios), it was the only fairly new release there on that particular day that I hadn't seen. So, I reluctantly picked it up.

First off, this was improperly billed as a comedy. WRONG! It's not even a dark comedy. I laughed all of three times, and only once out loud. It's all about soul searching and trying to decide how to do what is right in an almost impossibly awkward situation. It's about questioning whether or not to follow your heart or your head. It's about seeing honesty for what it truly is. It's about relationships and the ability to maintain fidelity within one where the entire physical part of it has been removed. It's about much, much more, as well.

Now I can see why everyone bashed "The Dilemma" from here to Kingdom Come. It was billed as a comedy, and the movie viewers came out of the theater confused as to why they barely laughed, let alone why they hardly cracked a smile. The human psyche is a computer that is programmable. If you program that computer to think that it is going to see an comedy and nothing is funny, the computer goes haywire. Somewhere inside it's intricate information pathways is the repetitive phrase, "That does not compute! That does not compute! That does not compute!" The end result is confusion, which breeds a dislike of what caused the confusion. It wasn't the movie, folks. It was the idiots who tried to pass it off as a comedy, when it was clearly a drama with a couple of small funny bits for comic relief.

So, I'm here to tell you this: If you watch this movie with your brain already programmed to see a drama, you'll love it. Period. I'll give it four stars! ****

Blu-Ray specifics: Excellent PQ! Better AQ! Fair on the Extras!
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VINE VOICEon May 2, 2011
Let's face it: Finding your best friend's wife is cheating on him, and then trying to tell him (and then trying NOT to tell him), isn't funny. A great comedic director could take that situation and turn it around, make the serious hysterical. Ron Howard, alas, is not a great comedic directer. He's a pretty darn good dramatic director, however, which ultimately hinders THE DILEMMA.

The problem is, the film isn't funny. Even when it tries, which it rarely does. At moments, the film achieves a certain poignancy that is touching; it examines the crevices of the buddy-buddy relationship (in a much more serious way than, say Judd Apatow usually does), and hits some disturbingly harsh notes. What is most frustrating is that the cast (yes, even Kevin James) is up for the challenge: Vince Vaughn has proven himself a dramatic actor in the past, as has Jennifer Connelly. James holds his own; in fact, when he's at his worst when he's trying for yucks. Winnona Ryder delivers a solid, understated performance (as she did in BLACK SWAN). Queen Latifah is a bit over-the-top in her minor role, but Channing Tatum is surprisingly not; not that he's suddenly metamorphosed into a mesmerizing actor (his "emotional" scene opposite Vaughn makes the latter look like a true thespian), but at least he's trying here.

Allan Loeb's script is a bit two-dimensional, and Ron Howard's directing, as it unfortunately can be, is lazy; this film meanders, and never truly finds its place. It's not funny--I saw it in a packed (I know!) theater, and there were mostly groans--and it's not tender; it's uncomfortable to watch, but usually in the wrong ways. Occasionally the film strikes just the right awkward note, giving you a peak at the film it COULD have been. But then, who would want to go see a drama starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James? Maybe somebody should get that project started; both actors apparently have the chops to pull it off, and, if nothing else, they have pretty good on-screen chemistry.
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on May 9, 2011
My boyfriend and I rented this movie the other night out of sheer boredom, boy, was that a mistake! There were maybe two scenes that made us laugh, the rest of the movie we yawned and just commented on how boring the movie is. I personally didn't like any of the characters, and the only one I felt some sympathy toward was Jennifer Connelly's. Queen Latifah had few lines and I think she was the funniest character in this movie. I am not a professional movie reviewer, but I would not recommend this movie to anyone unless you are planning to be bored.
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on May 15, 2011
This is over 2 hours long and there are very few laughs if any in this film. The pace is slow and the overall message quite depressing. This is the movie equivalent of a 2 hour budget airline flight. If you want to be uncomfortable and frustrated for 2 hours then this is the film for you.
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VINE VOICEon September 4, 2011
I'm glad I read the reviews before watching this drama because from the cover of the DVD which state this film is "Hilarious"? I would have been disappointed. The film has a very depressing premise and tries to make some fun out a very touchy situation. James and Vaughn are excellent and both show they're up to playing more than a couple of goofballs. The problem here is we're so used to seeing them play goofballs that we keep waiting for them to do something......well, goofy!

I did enjoy this flawed film, but probably wouldn't give it a second viewing. If you're looking to laugh a lot this film isn't going to cut it(although there are a few moments of fun), but if you like the actors and troubled romance films, then this one is worth a look.
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on January 30, 2011
"What would you do if you happen to learn that your best friend's wife is having an affair with some other guy?" I'm not sure if you find the set-up of Ron Howard-directed comedy "The Dilemma" as interesting as the filmmakers, but anyway, they thought the question has potential for funny, even insightful, comedy / drama, which unfortunately "The Dilemma" is not.

Vince Vaughn plays a bachelor Ronny, living with a nice and beautiful girlfriend and successful chef Beth (Jennifer Connelly). Kevin James is Nick, a happily married genius car designer and best friend of Ronny. One day, in a Chicago botanical garden Ronny sees Geneva (Winona Ryder), Nick's wife, passionately kissing a young man Zip (Channing Tatum). With their presentation for Chrysler coming up soon, Ronny has to deal with the difficult (so he thinks) situations when his best friend Nick is under pressure struggling to design a new engine.

If you are expecting something like a light-hearted comedy, "The Dilemma" is not. Actually, it is often dark, without much wit or sense of humor (except Vince Vaughn's deadpan delivery of them, which is worth seeing). You really don't like those self-absorbed (if not selfish) characters. Except a couple of scenes, the two female characters have little to do. Only Queen Latifah knows what she is doing, even though her character has virtually no place here.

The biggest problem with "The Dilemma" is, well, Ronny's "dilemma" is not a big dilemma enough after all to make a comedy or a psychodrama. Once you decide on telling (or not telling) your best friend the truth, there is not much you can do. Ronny, it seems, thinks otherwise, which is fine, but instead of taking a simple course, he keeps making incredibly stupid decisions. And these incredible decisions are followed by clichéd set-pieces that are not very funny, or worse, even offensive.

With A-list players and director, "The Dilemma" is a disappointment.
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on May 3, 2012
I couldn't eject this popporn fast enough. Howard has lost it. I had a feeling like you get when a centipede crawls across your arm.........no, that is stimulating as well as creepy.

This schlock is just creepy. It's more like drinking sewer water accidentally (not that I've done that ever). Actually, now that I think about it, it's more like toxic sludge that gets dumped on your soul. If you like TV this one's for you. "Hilarious" my bottom.
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VINE VOICEon June 18, 2012
I love Kevin James. I mean, I think the man is hilarious. I also really like Vince Vaughn. Someone does need to warn him that his constant regurgitation of the same comedic character is growing old and that he needs to learn to add a few more layers, but overall his `funny douchebag' routine is working out well for him. He makes me laugh. When I saw the trailer for `The Dilemma' all those months ago, it looked really promising. A dramedy, playing heavily on the comedy aspect (according to the trailer) starring two very funny men and some very talented women looked like it could really be good. The subject, while in all respective notes NOT funny, could lend itself to astute comedic situations if built upon in the right way.

I was excited.

The reviews were scathing, and even some word from Ammy friends made me hesitate. I wasn't going to rush out to this one (which isn't a new thing since I rarely make it to the movies to begin with). I finally did get around to seeing this this past weekend, and I must say that I was really, really disappointed.

There is a spoiler here that I have to give because it helps plead my case.

The first problem with `The Dilemma' is that it skews to the serious and tries too hard to insert the funny instead of allowing it to be a natural progression of character. The situations orchestrated for comedic effect feel forced and out of place because Howard and company are creating an awkwardly thematic production. The first part of the film was such a confusing ride. It felt like it was a drama, not a comedy at all, and the romantic tangles of Vaughn and Connelly felt almost `90210' with really good lighting. It was a strange introduction and then the shift to comedic episodes (the poisonous plant scene) felt off. I think that the thematic issues would have been more forgivable had the actual dilemma felt more legitimate. I'm sorry, but if you catch your BEST FRIEND'S wife cheating on him, you tell him immediately. You don't wait, you don't take his preposterous screaming at you (that scene was just dumb) as an excuse to walk away. You grab him by the ears and drag him to a room if you have to and then you hold him close and tell him. There is no dilemma. The constant back and forth between Vaughn and Ryder felt like an excuse to make this feel more dramatic than it really was.

And then you have the fact that James's character wasn't entirely innocent and so it makes you wonder why all the fuss at all (I mean, he's basically doing THE SAME THING).

The performances are all uniformly fine. Sadly, Connelly is in a different movie because she is strictly dramatic and offers no comedic insight whatsoever. In a way, she gives the best performance of the bunch (Ryder is also very good) because she is always in `tone', but she is also the least interesting. James is sadly uneven, and Vaughn, while convincing in many instances, suffers from the script. I just wish that this movie knew what it wanted to be. It isn't even enough to make it work.

The fight scene is epic and made me come close to wetting myself in laughter, but most parts of this film made me feel indifferent.
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With THE DILEMMA (2011), director Ron Howard as usual has small roles for brother Clint and dad Rance, but the film belongs to Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder and Kevin James. It's currently rated 5.3 at IMDb, but that figure is way, way too low.

In this very serious relationship drama, Vince and Kevin are partners in a small engine design company that has a potentially huge contract with Chrysler to supply power plants for their new line of Dodge muscle cars. Kevin's the designer and the stress of trying to create the perfect engine has given him a bleeding ulcer.

He's married to Winona; all three were friends in college. Vince is 40 and still single, but he's in a meaningful relationship.

One unlucky afternoon, Vince sees Winona making out with a tattooed dirtball we later learn is called "Zip." And so the big question: should Vince tell Kevin his wife's cheating on him, and if he does, will his best friend be so distraught he won't be able to perfect the Dodge engine? Everyone's future depends on what he decides to do.

The story climaxes with a therapist intervention scene, but not initially for the reason you'd expect. The ending is most satisfactory.

THE DILEMMA deserves a second look, for it's a quality film
thanks to a fine cast and one of our most talented directors.

Also with Jennifer Connelly, Channing Tatum (as "Zip"), Queen Latifah
and Chelcie Ross (remember him as the Bardahl-ball pitcher in MAJOR LEAGUE?).
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on June 13, 2011
The story line is depressing. There's just no humor in cheating or deliberating on how to break the news to a friend. And Vince Vaughn just really. isn't. funny. We turned it off after the disasterous toast about honesty. I have no idea how the movies ends. It wasn't interesting or entertaining enough to even care.
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