The Dilemma

"Weak"

The Dilemma Review


A lack of focus leaves this film neither funny enough to be a comedy nor astute enough to be a drama. Although it's clearly trying to be both, there's nothing about the story or characters that grabs our attention.

Best buddies Ronny and Nick (Vaughn and James) are trying to get their business off the ground, creating muscle-car effects for electric vehicles. One day Ronny spots Nick's wife Geneva (Ryder) kissing another man (Tatum). He's afraid to tell Nick because they're bidding for their first big contract. And he can't tell his own girlfriend Beth (Connelly), because he's planning to propose. So he confronts Geneva, who tells Ronny that her marriage is complicated. So what should Ronny do next?

Frankly, this isn't much of a dilemma. Ronny obviously should do the right thing by his pal, but he dithers to allow for a series of set pieces that are embarrassing rather than amusing. All this does is make us wonder what the filmmakers are trying to do. Is it a wacky comedy about the bond between two friends or a dark drama about marriage? Either way, it has about as much depth as Ronny and Nick's business, putting a superficially macho roar and shake on an efficiently quiet motor.

It's impossible to sympathise with men who are this shallow. Vaughn and James kind of amble through the film like loveable losers. Only Connelly and Ryder create interesting characters: both surprise us even though the script never bothers to stretch them. In small roles, Latifah (as a Detroit exec) steals her scenes with a stream of rude gags, and Tatum generates interest simply because he plays his hapless character as a different person in every scene.

By the end, the film's tone has been so widely scattershot that we're not sure whether we're supposed to laugh or cry at the big emotional climax. And it also seems so desperate not to be gay that it's actually homophobic. The cast plays for laughs, but Howard directs as if the climax is some sort of huge catharsis.

And if the final message is that true friendship can survive anything, it also cynically implies that bromance is stronger than marriage.



The Dilemma

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th January 2011

Box Office USA: $48.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $67.1M

Budget: $70M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 121

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Nick Brannen, as Ronny Valentine, as Geneva Brannen, as Beth, as Dana, as Concept Car Spokesmodel, as Zip, as Thomas Fern, Heidi Johanningmeier as Shoot the Puck Girl, Rebecca Spence as Jackie, Grace Rex as Cousin Betty

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.