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The Dilemma (2011)

(PG-13) 111 mins

Synopsis: A man discovers that his best friend’s wife is having an affair.

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Allan Loeb

Stars: Vince VaughnKevin James and Winona Ryder

Serious Jest:  (Rental)  I was pleasantly surprised at how good this film turned out to be.  It didn’t try too hard to make fun scenes funny, letting its very charismatic cast play out some ways to handle various difficult situations.  In fact, I would say that this film was even better as a drama than as a comedy.  You may not agree with the choices that some of the characters make, but in the end, you have to acknowledge that the answers are not that simple, and the actors have done a great job of illustrating the complexities and nuances of the tough spots that their characters find themselves in.  More than likely, this movie will lead to discussion, especially if you watch it with your significant other, so beware.

Big shout out to the ladies in this film, who may just have stolen the show.  Ryder is brilliant at expressing her character’s multiple dimensions; there are times when she’s deliciously cutthroat, and others when you see her side.  Jennifer Connelly brings the movie “girlfriend experience” to your TV–by that, I mean that she has a way of opening her heart up on camera so genuinely, that the viewer feels like he knows her intimately, and has fallen for her.  Queen Latifah is never afraid to commit to eccentric roles, and her character was written wonderfully, with some golden tag lines that she delivered on the money; also, her screen time was limited to just enough so that she left you wanting to see her more.

The guys were no slouches, either.  Vaughn and James exhibited good chemistry, and didn’t over-act to try to be funny, just letting it happen, instead.  I also have to mention that Channing Tatum did well in a bit of a different role for him.  Sure, he still played the chick-magnet pretty boy, but it seemed like he cast aside the coolness and embraced his character’s wacked-outness, instead.

All in all, this film is worth the money to rent/order on-demand, but don’t go in expecting to be cracking up the whole time.  It’s an even balance of drama and comedy, and you’ll spend just as much time wondering what’s going to happen next as you will laughing.

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About Serious Jest

Film & TV Reviewer by Choice, Attorney at Law, Marine to the Corps (excuse the pun), Nupe Under Pressure, and MC by Nature

12 responses to “The Dilemma (2011)

  1. adam ⋅

    you are right about this being a better drama than comedy. i kept waiting for laughs i didn’t get and parts were damn depressing, reminiscent of the awkwardness of watching all the fighting between vaughn and aniston in the breakup. felt this movie underwhelmed because it was advertised as a goofy guy comedy, which it wasn’t.

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