The Dilemma
Zach Davis

Directed by: Ron Howard

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, Channing Tatum, and Queen Latifah

The Dilemma is a departure from Ron Howard’s recent work.  He’s helmed films that have garnered award buzz such as A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon.  He’s also helmed commercially successful films in recent years such as The Da Vinci Code.  While this film offered less of a challenge to Howard, he still delivered an all-around entertaining movie.

Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) are best friends who run a small business designing engines for cars.  Everything seems to be on the up and up for these two.  In fact, they’re on the verge of securing an order with a major car company.  On top of this big business move, the two friends are in solid relationships.  Nick is married to Geneva (Winona Ryder), and Ronny is planning to propose to his girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly).  While setting up the spot where he’ll propose to Beth in a botanical garden, Ronny witnesses the worst thing he could possibly see — Geneva kissing and fooling around with a heavily tattooed guy named Zip (Channing Tatum).  Ronny has no idea what to do.  How should he tell his best friend he saw his wife cheating on him?  He discusses the matter with a few close friends and relatives in hypothetical situations.  Naturally, all the feedback leads him to keep the news away from Nick. 

While at a hockey game with Nick and Geneva, Ronny confronts Geneva only to learn that there’s more to the situation than meets the eye.  Geneva describes a troubled marriage and a Nick whom Ronny doesn’t know.  He can’t believe what he’s hearing.  Ronny then sets out to find out for himself if Geneva is telling the truth or if she is completely two-timing his best friend.  All the while Ronny’s odd behavior begins to jeopardize his business deal with the major car company.  Because of this behavior, Nick, along with Beth, becomes concerned Ronny has fallen into old gambling habits.  All this adds up to one great dilemma for Ronny as he tries not to hurt his best friend, save his relationship, and salvage the critical deal for their business.

Vince Vaughn and Kevin James play their usual selves in this romantic comedy.  The characters seem to be derived from their natural personalities as opposed to a script.  Winona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly don’t have much screen time yet play their parts well as the other halves of the main duos.

Channing Tatum delivers a surprising comedic performance as Zip, displaying a bi-polar set of emotions towards his interactions with Ronny.  Meanwhile, Queen Latifah has a small role as a consultant for the major car company.  She delivers some amusing “broesque” dialogue through her few scenes.

All in all, The Dilemma was entertaining.  If you catch it on television, it’s not a bad flick to watch and makes a decent date movie.  Just remember to grab a six pack or a bottle of wine, and you’ll be good to go.