Movie review – A romcom with an identity crisis

2011-03-04 08:48

Film: The Dilemma (UIP)
Director: Ron Howard
Featuring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Channing Tatum, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly and Queen Latifah
Rating: 6/10

While on a jaunt in a different part of town, you spot your best friend’s wife getting it on with a toy boy. What do you do? This is The Dilemma Ronny Valentine (Vince Vaughn) faces. His best friend is Nick Brannen (Kevin James) and his wife who gets a bit on the side is Geneva (Winona Ryder).

Ryder, who has been in Hollywood limbo since her shoplifting incident, seems to be clawing her way back from TV movieland. She played the slightly too old prima ballerina in Black Swan and here she tackles the tricky role of the cheating wife.

Society is so much harder on women who cheat, which is why this film is moderately interesting because it doesn’t make a pariah of the straying wife.

The disconnect with this film is the odd coupling of director Ron Howard (Angels & Demons, Frost/Nixon, Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind) with the Vaughn and James duo, who between them have only a selection of moderately amusing comedies to their names.

The pair gains more out of the transaction than Howard.

Howard reins in Vaughn’s excesses, making sure he gives a relatively realistic portrayal of a man dealing with having the veil lifted on what he thought was the perfect marriage. The trouble is that this film doesn’t quite know whether to go for laughs or tears, making it a strange “push me, pull you” experience for the viewer.

Odd too is the addition to this film’s cast of Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, who doesn’t have much to do as Ronny’s long-suffering, waiting-for-a-ring girlfriend. Queen Latifah gives a strange performance as a car-mad boss and torsolicious Channing Tatum shows that he does have a little comic range as Geneva’s toy boy, Zip.

The Dilemma’s better than any other Vaughn or James film, but it suffers from an identity crisis. With a better cast, it could have been a powerful drama with an interesting premise. With a different director, it could have been one of those farces that Hollywood trades in.

As it stands, it will probably disappoint both Howard fans and those expecting Vaughn and James’ usual schtick.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.