The Dilemma

Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly

Canadian Rating: PG

I don’t like Vince Vaughn. After Four Christmases I made a sincere vow to myself and to my loved ones that I would never pay to see him in a movie again. Friends have told me, “don’t worry, he’s not horrible in _____.” Yes, agreed. I saw Dodgeball recently, it wasn’t bad because his lines were few and because like tofu, he needs plenty of seasoned ingredients to help him out.

As you’ve probably noticed, Vaughn rambles. He rambled his way onto the comedy scene and when I watch him I wait patiently for…no punch line, no real commentary or comedic timing. Rambling does not automatically equal funny. It has to be about something. For this reason, he just doesn’t measure up to Stiller and Ferrel and he should not be in the same category.  Which is why I actually liked him in Dodgeball. Mirroring Ron Livingston’s wonderful work in Office Space, Vaughn allowed the fantastic ensemble cast to be the stars. An honourable and important role. 

Ok fine, I liked him in Swingers too. Sheesh, will you stop finding skeletons in my closet? I’m only human!

Now that that’s out of the way,

In The Dilemma, Vaughn’s character Ronny finds out that his best friend forever Nick (Kevin James) has an unfaithful wife (Winona Ryder) (who by the way looks terrible in a ponytail) (who knew), and together with his own girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly), they are a pretty close-knit group. Ronny discovers this while dealing with other high pressure situations; working with Nick on an invention with a tight deadline and finding the perfect way to propose to Beth!

Oh my! Exhausting! So in the first scene the Ronny is ranting about some crazy crap that doesn’t matter (typico). However, when the actual discoverment of Nick’s wife occurs, something beautiful happens. He calms down, gets serious, and bangs out a performance I liked.

After he sees Geneva (Winona) with Zip (Channing Tatum) in a greenhouse he is touring, the employees try to scold him for harming the plants, but nothing is registering. The world is a blur. And isn’t that what happens to us when our world comes crashing down? We feel dizzy and everyone around us sounds like garbly gook.

He was also under the influence of severe plant poisoning. I should probably mention that.

This leads Ronny into a series of insane doings that make up most of the film. He becomes crazy and obsessed and one might ask, “is he really going this far? Oh my gosh, never mind about this…is he really going THAT FAR?!” I said this! But his behaviour is explained! Keep watching and give it a chance. The man definitely has some sort of Compulsive Disorder, possibly Obsessive. But judging by things you learn about him through the movie, you can tell that he is a man who does not give up on what he wants until he gets it. It causes a lot of the very realistic tension between him and Beth.

I liked the movie, despite the reviews, for a few simple reasons:

I laughed all the way through. There were some really good lines and the dialogue was not laced with clichés. Thank you for that.

 Ronny was unwavering in his loyalty to Nick, which I appreciated. I’m used to seeing characters buckle only for the sake of plot development. There were some important morals about communication in relationships, for both Nick and Ronny.

The strong ending really helped me to put aside some of my complaints about the movie, like why didn’t they focus more on their project since it looked like that was where the movie was going?

Kevin James did a great job of being a nervous wreck with ulcers, insomnia, and issues all around.

Winona Ryder made an excellent comedy-villain, but that was mostly due to the ponytail (shivers…).

Jennifer Connelly did not get a real chance to shine. She was patient, calm and supportive through the whole thing. What the heck is this about? She didn’t freak out even once over Ronny’s antics! And we know she’s good at it (A Beautiful Mind, He’s Just Not That Into You).  Jennifer, I’m really not comfortable with this new persona. I want more screaming and glass breaking, please.

Final note: Channing Tatum played a punk (musician?) guy with tattoos who (owns some fish?). He is the sensitive guy who looks like you don’t want to mess with him. Loved his character, and I hope he continues to develop his skills because he is up and coming (finally).


About pertobello

I live in Toronto but I'm from the east coast originally. I like photography, psychology, writing, pictures, the brain, literature and the creation of, taking snapshots, therapy (of myself and others), manuscripts, digital renderings of events and places, exploring the capablities and workings of the human mind, transcribing my thoughts and stories into a readable format. Wow I have an impressive list of interests!!
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10 Responses to The Dilemma

  1. Vince says:

    This was a good review, i approve. However I would like to see more hilarity next time. continue posting, also you should use the word matrix as much as possible

  2. Ripplin says:

    I also don’t like Vince Vaughn. Ditto Chevy Chase. Two of the least funny funnymen in Hollywood, I think. :p

    • Vince says:

      Rippling, have you seen Swingers? He’s fairly good in that one, but it was his first film. Four Christmases he was also only mildly annoying, which is usually pretty good for him

      • pertobello says:

        Yeah, he wasn’t TRYING too hard to be funny. He was being a normal character and if he said something funny, great! and if not, well he’s not supposed to be the “funnyman” so it’s ok. Much more easygoing role for him.

  3. Ripplin says:

    Oh, yeah, Vaughn was ok in Dodgeball. Not a great movie. Oh well. I’m glad he wasn’t in Zoolander. Haha.

    • pertobello says:

      Actually he was! He cameo’d as one of Derek’s bros. It’s hard to recognize him when he doesn’t open his mouth tho…

      • Ripplin says:

        Oh yeah! *slapping forehead* I always forget dumb little things like that.

        So would you say you’re a pretty active moviegoer? I went to the theater once in 2010. :p I saw…um…………..Iron Man 2. This year I’ve seen Tron and I’m sure I’ll see something else. Maybe The Green Hornet tonight. Thor? Maybe. X-Men: First Class? Probably. (I’m looking at a list) Green Lantern? Probably. Transformers 3? Possibly never. Captain America? Possibly.

        There aren’t many movies that make me think ‘I wish I’d’ve seen that at the theater.’ Two of them, however, would be The Rocketeer and The Iron Giant.

      • pertobello says:

        Hmm, well i was never that huge of a movie go-er. I’d go see the films I was excited about and sometimes I’d get roped into seeing some pretty terrifying movies (spiderman 3) by people who said they were friends. Now that I’m dating it’s a different story. Joel and I do dinner & movie at least once a week now, especially cuz of the AMC at yonge & dundas square with a bunch of built in restaurants. It’s sort of our comforty lazy thing we do. It’s funny cuz Joel almost said to me he’s looking forward to reading my reviews to see if the movies are worth seeing. Then he was like, “oh right…” lol anyway because of this I have taken a totally different view to going out to movies. I have paid to see movies I never would have before because it’s not about the movie anymore. It’s just about kicking back and relaxing in a familiar environment when you’re dead tired at the end of the week. Because of this I have seen lots of interesting movies! And that’s why i ended up doing this because many times I’d be interested in the reviews and I’d want to compare and contrast them with what i thot (i’m a sucker for punishment) and i kept getting frustrated with movie reviewers. They hate just for the sake of hating! Don’t get me wrong, i can RANT!!!! But movies deserve credit where credit is due.

        I love the Rocketeer! Would love to see it again cuz i was pretty young. I’m going to see the green hornet this saturday. The iron giant would have been awesome and I feel pretty lucky (on a similar note) that I got to see Titan AE in theatres with my Dad. Oh and I was 7 or 8 and Trevor and Jase took me with them to the drive in to see Star Trek 6. I am so grateful cuz even tho I barely remember it, I get warm fuzzies now every time i watch it. Which is often. It’s probably my favorite movie if I absolutely had to pick one.

        I will not see another Transformers movie, even for free or if I was paid money. I only saw the first one which I didn’t like, then I heard about the désastre that was 2. So I’m good.

        Thor looks promising!

  4. Ripplin says:

    Siper-Man 3* was “terrifying”? Are you talking about the part where he dances down the street? Haha.

    You saw Star Trek 6 at the drive-in? I guess you didn’t go to Riverview with us, then. So Generations was your first with the gang? Argh, too long ago! I still remember going home from Star Trek 6 and Ian telling me his theory about dinosaurs. Very wrong, but very cute. :p (and Jo stepping in my lasagna before the movie, of course)

    *only noticed that odd typo after I was done the whole thing, and it’s staying!

  5. Annono Bestie says:

    …I LOVE YOU!

    Anonymous Bestie!

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