|Still from The Dilemma|
Ron Howard's The Dilemma certainly isn't his best work, but it also isn't as bad as the negative all the negative Publicity surrounding it would have you believe. We follow Ronny Valentine (Vince Vaughn), a recovering Gambling Addict looking to propose to longtime Girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly). His Best Friend Nick (Kevin James) and him are partnering on a project to develop a powerful Engine for Chrysler. The extended hours and unwavering focus at work have left Nick disengaged from his Wife Geneva (Winona Ryder). After witnessing Geneva having an affair with a hunky younger Man named Zip (Channing Tatum), Ronny finds himself obsessed with the idea of Fidelity, threatening to expose the affair to Nick, to whom he owes his loyalties. At the same time though, Ronny finds himself withdrawn progressively from his own relationship with Beth.
One cannot take anything away from the Principal Cast of The Dilemma. Vaughn, James, Connelly and Ryder all deliver strong performances, with Vaughn in particular shining brightest, given that his character is has much range to work with as Ronny spirals out of control. James tackles a role more serious than what we are accustomed to from him, but nonetheless is as likable as ever, even though he never really hits his best stride in matching Vaughn's level of commitment. Ryder at last is given a meaty role to work with after suffering several career setbacks in recent memory. At one point she manages to convince us that it just might be okay that she is cheating on her Husband. Yes, she's that good.
We realize that Universal Pictures' The Dilemma isn't so much a story about Romantic Love as much as it is a story about Friendship, somewhat in the same vein as I Love You, Man. It's just too bad though that we realize this only late in the Movie when it decides finally what it wants to be. Grade: B