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).