Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Dilemma - DVD Review


Starring Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah. Directed by Ron Howard.

This movie is so uneven that it really needed a director skilled in dark comedy to navigate its waters. I think Barry Levinson or Danny DeVito would have been good. But the thing is, I would have thought beforehand that the director of Night Shift and The Paper could have done it. By the time it was done, though, my thoughts were on the director. What was he thinking?

The casting of the men would indicate light-hearted farce. Jennifer Connelly, though, means weepy drama. Winona Ryder can go either way and I'm just glad to see her get work.

The premise isn't some Three's Company escalation of misunderstandings. Vince Vaughn sees his best friend's wife is cheating on him, and it's not a mistake. No she's really cheating. But as layers get pulled back on the characters, we see there's more going on. There's pain and disappointment and hurt. But even through most of that, the tone tries to stay fluffy. "Hey, we got Vince Vaughn! It's a comedy!"

Another Vaughn-Com, The Break-Up, had similar problems. As their relationship soured, the movie grew less funny and more sad. I didn't like that movie either.

But I'll say this: I've never enjoyed Channing Tatum more. He showed genuine comic energy and timing.

It just hit me. This was as though Ron Howard was trying to make a Woody Allen movie.

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