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The Dilemma

The Dilemma: An All-Star Bomb

  • Channing TatumJennifer Connelly...
  • ComedyDrama
  • Ron Howard
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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The Dilemma: An All-Star Bomb

Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick
(James) are two business partners and
best friends that decide to take their careers to the next level with a new
contract in a major company. Things are already tense since they both realize
that this is their one real chance of success. While checking out a botanical
garden where he plans to propose to his girlfriend Beth (Connelly), Ronny catches
Nick’s wife Geneva
(Ryder) kissing a young man. This is where The
Dilemma
kicks off, as Ronny struggles between either telling his best
friend or keeping this knowledge to himself.

Naturally, when he
decides to tell Nick about Geneva,
a series of mishaps and coincidences get in his way with a domino effect on their
friendship, their business contract and Ronny’s relationship with Beth. The basic plot of The Dilemma is an easily familiar one
that everyone can relate to; as many have undoubtedly been put in the same
situation of having to tell a friend an uncomfortable secret that could harm their
friendship.

Despite a likeable
all-star cast and a big-name director, the film’s execution is a terrible mess.
Originally written to be a comedy, there’s hardly one laugh that came out of
it. At many points in the film – or maybe even more than 80% of it – The Dilemma feels like it’s a thriller
directed by an amateur stand-up comedian who just became a director; certainly
not by a seasoned director such as Ron Howard. Yes, it’s that
messy.

The film lacks a clear genre identity: it doesn’t work as a comedy – you
might laugh occasionally but not enough for it to deserve the genre; nor does it qualify as a drama. The film basically revolves around
Vaughn, which eventually becomes really boring.

The real question
here is: why do you sign up two of the most highly paid comedic names in Hollywood if you’re not
backing them with funny material? Vaughn and James are usually hilarious; so The Dilemma is such a waste of talent
and time. Ryder and Connelly are given very little to work with; especially
Connelly – who’s a reputable and consistent actress that worked with Howard
before on A Beautiful Mind, one of
his best films.

Queen Latifah and
Channing Tatum have minor supporting roles and simply do what they were asked
to with very little flair. How could many things go wrong when
you have a clever script, an all-star cast, and an amazingly fair budget (by Hollywood standards) of US$70 million? Such a shame!

Despite its
potential, The Dilemma is an all-star
vehicle that’s heading for disaster;
a disappointingly unfunny and boring film.

Like This? Try

Love Actually, Closer, The Apartment     

360 Tip

This is Ron Howard’s first comedy since How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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