Movie Review: ‘The Dilemma’

January 15, 2011 Updated: September 29, 2015

(L to R) Geneva (Winona Ryder), Beth (Jennifer Connelly), Nick (Kevin James) and Ronny (Vince Vaughn) in 'The Dilemma.'  ( Chuck Hodes/ Universal Studio)
(L to R) Geneva (Winona Ryder), Beth (Jennifer Connelly), Nick (Kevin James) and Ronny (Vince Vaughn) in 'The Dilemma.' ( Chuck Hodes/ Universal Studio)
A true situation comedy, the premise of The Dilemma is both fascinating and funny. Basically—if you saw your best friend’s wife cheating, what would you do? Our comedic duo Vince Vaughn and Kevin James exploit this scenario well, piling on their signature slapstick and over-the-top humor throughout the film.

The Dilemma stars power house comedians Vaughn and James with a strong ensemble cast including Oscar winning actress Jennifer Connelly, career revived Wynona Ryder, as well as rising star Channing Tatum, and Queen Latifah all appear. Notable director Ron Howard directed the film.

The film starts by introducing long time best friends Nick & Ronny (Vince & Kevin) who live in Chicago and have their own engine design business. Then we meet Ronny’s girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly) and Nick’s wife Geneva (Winona Ryder). While planning out his marriage proposal, Nick suddenly stumbles upon Ronny’s wife with another man, Zip (Channing Tatum). Nick then faces the “dilemma” of how and when to tell Ronny, and how to deal with the entire situation. Henceforth, the character interactions get very interesting and the play on the theme then follows.

The Dilemma expresses the sentiment and tribulations involving friendship, relationships, and life career choices. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an immensely moving film. The screen play does not break new ground and certainly doesn’t incorporate deep, complex, multidimensional characters. It is however, exactly what you would expect and appreciate from a Vaughn, James comedy, and it does have its moments.

Channing Tatum as Zip in a 'The Dilemma.'  (Chuck Hodes/ Universal Studio)
Channing Tatum as Zip in a 'The Dilemma.' (Chuck Hodes/ Universal Studio)
Queen Latifa plays Susan Warner, a consultant helping with Ronny & Nick’s career-changing engine design project. She plays a small part, but comes through loud and clear in a memorable role. Channing Tatum plays Zip, the young guy who cheats with the wife, and shows off his comedic talent, especially when going into an all out over the top fight and wrestling scene with Vaughn.

As for Vince and Kevin, they scored high on entertainment points for laugh out loud humor. They have comedic chemistry, and I’m sure there was quite a bit of improv and fun on the set. Vince gets outrageous and out of control with his special personality, and Kevin can sometimes make you unexpectedly crack up with a mere gesture or look.

If you’re searching for laughs and stress relief, go see The Dilemma. You will not see the greatest comedy of the year, but your oxytocin level will certainly rise from the laughter.