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He said… ‘Dilemma’ just plain awful

Submitted by Matt Johnson on January 20, 2011 – 2:18 pm3 Comments

There’s a reason movies like “The Dilemma” get released in January; they suck.

I can’t decide whether the movie has an identity crisis or a case of multiple personality disorder. It never chooses a consistent tone and annoyingly moves back and forth between Apatow-style, grown-up comedy, a-la “40-Year-Old Virgin,” and a more acerbic brand of comedy where you are so uncomfortable you’re squirming in your seat.

Then there are moments where it turns very dark and brooding, leaving me to wonder, just what exactly is this movie going for? Ron Howard? Anyone?

A perfect example is the movie’s funniest moment, where Ronny (Vince Vaughn), gives a toast at an anniversary party. It starts out being hilarious, but the moment is totally ruined when it sharply veers from weirdly funny to just plain weird.

And before you pelt me with tomatoes, “Love Actually” is one of my favorite movies ever, so it’s not anything personal against romantic comedies. “Dilemma” could learn a thing or two from “Actually” about walking a fine line. Whether it’s a comedy or a romantic comedy, a good one will have what this film sorely lacks; heart. I simply don’t care about the characters. At its core, there’s nothing there. It’s a throwaway movie that will be forgotten about six months from now.

Vaughn is one of my favorites, but he gets little to work with and I guess he makes the best of it. Kevin James plays the same guy he always does. Jennifer Connelly’s role is totally wasted and Wynona Ryder has one of the movie’s best scenes and it‘s more creepy than funny.

The disappointing thing is there’s a good movie buried in here somewhere but that’s not exactly high praise, as the same could be said for a lot of movies. It’s poorly edited and the flow suffers for it. Overall, the lack of consistent tone is what kills the movie. I could have dealt with the other flaws if it had just decided what kind of movie it wanted to be.

Overall, I can’t recommend “The Dilemma.” It’s worth a rental, but I wouldn’t see it in the theater. Save your money and go see a good movie instead.