Needed an Intervention
"The Dilemma" is the sort of comedy which starts with a good idea, a farce about the fragility of trust in relationships and how one moment can lead to paranoia and that to confusion. But whilst a good idea it doesn't have the legs to be a full movie of 90 minutes let alone one which is edging the 2 hour mark. Not only that it suffers from the wrong casting with Vince Vaughn delivering the usual, now repetitive talkative Vince Vaughn shtick whilst Kevin James doesn't have the chemistry with Vaughn to make the buddy friendship spark. It means that for about 30 minutes "The Dilemma" entertains with a promise of being comical but then goes down hill the longer it goes on.
Ronny (Vince Vaughn - Couples Retreat) and Nick (Kevin James - I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) have been buddies all their life and now are business partners working together on a big business opportunity. But that is put in jeopardy when Ronny discovers Nick's wife Geneva (Winona Ryder - The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) cheating on him with a young man and feeling conflicted leads to problems in Ronny's own relationship with Beth (Jennifer Connelly - He's Just Not That Into You) as paranoia gets the better of him.
The actual idea to "The Dilemma" is a good one as a best friend has to deal with the conflict of whether to tell his best friend that his wife is cheating on him. And the ideas it explores as Ronny starts becoming paranoid over his own relationship is a good one with some nice confusion comedy as people think Ronny has a gambling problems which he is keeping secret. The trouble is that whilst a good idea it doesn't have the legs to fill a two hour movie.
What this means is that during those 111 minutes it often resorts to a lot of daft comedy, attempting to be a farce but never achieving the energy to make it buzz. And unfortunately that daft comedy is all too familiar from Ronny ending up in fights to an over reliance on Vince Vaughn to deliver his quick talking shtick. Now the first time Vaughn did that in a movie it was good but since then every comedy he has been in has seen him do the same thing and in "The Dilemma" it is all to repetitive and familiar.
So in a way I am saying that Vince Vaughn is part of the movies problem but he is not the only one because unfortunately Kevin James and Vaughn have no comic chemistry. In truth James seems to be playing it mainly straight and when he gets a joke it is the lamest of jokes going. And as for the rest of the cast which includes Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah they are left playing dull and in some cases overly daft characters.
What this all boils down to is that "The Dilemma" is a good idea but one which not only doesn't have the legs to last an entire movie but struggles with the wrong cast.