The Dilemma. There are movies that I just don’t enjoy watching. When I was done with The Dilemma, I felt like I needed a shower. It was uninspired, generally not funny, and mostly awkward to watch. It kind of reminded me of Steve Carrell’s “Dinner for Schmucks.”
Now, I’m a fan of Vince Vaughn. Well, let me rephrase that. I think Wedding Crashers and Dodgeball are two of the finest examples of the surge of adult comedies to come out in the early 2000s. He has an easy charisma about him that really works, if utilized right. In The Dilemma, it felt like he was phoning it in.
Here’s the basic plot: Vince Vaughn finds out that Kevin James’ wife is cheating on him. The dilemma is whether he should tell him or not. This is pretty much the whole movie. It’s not funny, it’s almost sad in most parts, and it felt like the substance of the movie could have been squeezed into a half-hour block.
Both Vince Vaughn and Kevin James do not stretch their acting chops at all. Vaughn is calm and witty. James is frantic and fumbling. It feels like they let the actors improvise most of their scenes, which resulted in a slow pace and meaningless dialogue. The movie doesn’t kick in for a good while and I was contemplating what the movie was even about.
Winona Ryder stars as the cheating wife and you hate her from the very beginning. That’s what hinders this movie. It’s not a dilemma. She is horrible. “JUST TELL HIM SHE’S CHEATING!” I found myself screaming to the screen. It was agonizing to draw out this conflict and it wasn’t enough to hold the whole film up. Halfway through they try to create this situation where we find out that Vaughn has an issue with gambling addiction, but it felt like an afterthought and somewhat shoe-horned in, to give the film some more depth (and to waste some time).
Channing Tatum appears in a few scenes as the “other man.” He is completely ridiculous. There’s one scene where him and Vaughn engage in a fight scene and Tatum screams that he’s just taken oxycotin and nothing can hurt him. It was forced, completely unrealistic, and really added nothing to the movie. It was funny for about .5 seconds to see Tatum in a comedic role but it wore off pretty quickly.
I wouldn’t recommend watching this movie. It was painful and awkward to watch the plot unfold and very few characters were even likeable. It wasn’t funny enough to warrent renting it, so I’d stick to the classic Vaughn films if you want something to give you a few chuckles.