User Score
4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 108
  2. Negative: 39 out of 108
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  1. Jan 25, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Throughout the second phase of his career, the one which started with 1977's "Grand Theft Auto", this former child star, hardly what you would call a critics' darling, has consistently assuaged the mainstream audience's fear of adventure with sturdy, but ultimately, disposable films that never go, you know, there; the proverbial there, the dark place where many provincial-minded moviegoers are afraid to go.This filmmaker, for better or worse, is Middle America's Orson Welles. His most successful outing, the Academy Award-winning "A Beautiful Mind", well-received for its adeptness at showing the inner-workings of John Nash's compromised world, disappointingly settles for cheap sentiment during the final reel(for starters, the pen scene), and ends up making the schizophrenic game theorist entirely too sympathetic, by half. Love him or loathe him, that's the filmmaker's modus operandi: placate the audience, placate 'em good, which is why his latest effort, "The Dilemma", in many ways, represents a radical departure for this pathological crowd-pleaser, who as a result of his gallivanting into uncharted territory, may shock his core audience by showing off a previously incognito dark side. Nobody's going to confuse this former child star with a misanthrope like Lars Von Trier, but his foray into pessimism as a filmic tool is a new development in the ol' repertoire that deserves our encouragement, not scorn. Case and point: the off-kilter toast that Ronnie(Vince Vaughn) gives at his girlfriend's parent's anniversary party, albeit not possessing the same caliber of black humor as the damning speech given by a sexually-abused son to his depraved stepfather in Thomas Vinterberg's "Festen", does take you aback, does make you hold your breath a little, as the crazed entrepreneur, vexed over the infidelity perpetuated by Geneva(Winona Ryder), his best friend's wife, expounds upon the concept of honesty, and keeps both audiences(us and the partygoers) on pins and needles, as he speculates over other people's sex lives with his vitriol-fueled stand-up patter. When you consider that our answer to the Dogme movement(which includes the 1998 Vinterberg film, also known as "The Celebration") was Alan Cummings' "The Anniversary Party", maybe "The Dilemma", through its seeming allusion to more cineaste-approved fare, is the squarest of all square filmmaker's concession that his proficient movies are indeed maddeningly middle-of-the-road. "The Dilemma" is virgin territory for this talented hack; it's, at times, genuinely edgy. In its own oblique way, this Dogme-light comedy is a very political film; it's anti-bromance. Unlike the Judd Apatow-inspired "I Love You, Man", the close bond between Ronnie and Nick(Kevin James), inventors of a new technology that masculinizes the electric car, has none of the coyness surrounding their friendship that runs through "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express". When we learn that Ronnie had sex with Geneva(at Ball State, wink wink, nudge nudge), their sexual history, as a result, has a transformative effect on previous scenes, especially the one at the botanical garden, because now it's a former lover, and not just the best friend of the husband whom Geneva is cuckolding, who watches a whole lot of sinning going on between the secret lovers, in the thick of the rare fauna and flora. The contact that Ronnie makes with the poisonous greenery, in retrospect, no longer plays like an arbitrary occurrence; his falling down, not just a harmless bit of slapstick comedy resulting in a bad rash and urinary problems, but instead takes on the significance of a punishment, the transgression being: he covets his best friend's wife. This game-changing revelation at the coffeehouse, which codifies Ronnie's sexual orientation, culminates with Geneva feigning a good cry and corroborating story about Ronnie's ongoing lechery, which she threatens to deploy as a preventive measure against being found out. Her public display of female hysteria uncannily recalls the scene in Rob Reiner's "When Harry Met Sally" where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm. This time, it's crocodile tears. The premise that women and men can't truly be friends because of each sex's biological disposition toward f*cking, is retold in "The Dilemma" under the guise of a man's fidelity toward a committed homosocial relationship with an old college buddy. Forty-years-old and never married, Ronnie dated and dumped all of Geneva's friends because none of them were Geneva herself. For a change of pace, "The Dilemma" has a straight subtext. In "Vanilla Sky", Julie Gianni(Cameron Diaz) says, "Don't you know that when you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not." When Ronnie sees Geneva kissing that guy, his body remembers, and more importantly, he remembers. Expand
  2. May 4, 2011
    6
    this movie is not what it seems to be. this is not a brat pack summer hit, slapstick comedy or a second rate romcom. yet the problem, or the dilemma I should say (ouch! sorry!) is that it looks and feels too much like the things that it is not!
  3. Jan 15, 2011
    5
    It's a fun movie. Not nearly as bad as I thought it could be, and it all rests on Vince Vaughn's shoulders. He's been playing the same role since Swingers, but he's entertaining to watch. Both leading ladies are excellent in dramatic sequences that don't totally drain the comedy of its pace or momentum.
  4. Jan 15, 2011
    5
    Vince Vaughn discovers that his best friend's wife is cheating with another man. Does he tell him? The whole thing revolves around Vaughn's comic patter, so if you enjoy him, you might enjoy it. The script isn't that funny and most of the supporting cast isn't either. While it's mildly entertaining and occasionally amusing, it's not special or memorable.
  5. Feb 4, 2011
    5
    I have mixed feelings about this movie. It could have easily taken the cheap way out as with so many other comedies these days with crass sophomoric humor to illicit approval from the audience. Instead it went for a more mature approach with comedy as an afterthought. Unfortunately it came up short in terms of resonating with me. Vince Vaughan did an admirable job as an individualI have mixed feelings about this movie. It could have easily taken the cheap way out as with so many other comedies these days with crass sophomoric humor to illicit approval from the audience. Instead it went for a more mature approach with comedy as an afterthought. Unfortunately it came up short in terms of resonating with me. Vince Vaughan did an admirable job as an individual tortured by being unsure as to what is the right thing to do. I disagree that this was his typical role. Not far removed but more of a stretch than I have seen in the past. Jennifer Connelly was fine as was Winona Ryder. Interesting to see Winona in a few movies lately. Kevin James does not yet allow me to think of him as a character other than Kevin James. Who knows if that will ever change. Bottom line is a B+ for effort but a C+ for execution. Expand
  6. Feb 19, 2011
    5
    I had mixed reviews with this movie also. There were a few funny parts. But the conflict was overpowered and made the movie not as funny and good as expected.
  7. May 12, 2011
    5
    Well it wasn't horrible. But is it just me or is Vince Vaughn wearing on everyone? I love the guy, but he needs a new bit. The story, well it's just ok. The cast was just ok too. Jennifer Connoly was miscast, and Kevin James, well it just seems like he's in movies where they can't get Seth Rogen or something.
  8. Jul 7, 2011
    5
    A few chuckles here and their, it's sad how stale the plot is considering the entire movie revolves heavily around it, Vince Vaughn is okay in the movie and he makes the "dilemma" a bit believable, but Kevin James bombs in this, overacting in almost all his lines and his jokes are incredibly boring.
  9. Aug 1, 2011
    5
    Vince Vaughn is talented when it comes to fast talking improve and Kevin James can bring the funny most of the time, so it seems like a great idea to bring them together to make a film. Unfortunately it was this film. They both seem to have some chemistry on screen together, so hopefully it will happen again someday. There is a decent movie lying in there somewhere, it just never gets toVince Vaughn is talented when it comes to fast talking improve and Kevin James can bring the funny most of the time, so it seems like a great idea to bring them together to make a film. Unfortunately it was this film. They both seem to have some chemistry on screen together, so hopefully it will happen again someday. There is a decent movie lying in there somewhere, it just never gets to it. The idea for this movie is interesting enough; I just think in the end, The Dilemma does not live up to the possibility of good the idea shoots for. When you have gathered two great comedians and two actresses who can be great (Connelly) to not too shabby (Ryder) and then give them a script that doesnâ Expand
  10. Aug 25, 2013
    5
    The Dilemma is a different kind of comedy. It is more serious which makes its more interesting. The problem is the seriousness is better than the comedy and that is not good when you call your movie a comedy.
  11. chw
    Jul 20, 2014
    5
    The Dilemma is not the average Ron Howard movie; it sucked. Terrible acting, and terrible story. It should not have been a movie, because it's a PG-13 style Disney channel movie.
  12. Feb 10, 2011
    4
    It wasn't a very good movie, it was a long and drawn out affair but it did have some very funny parts in it. What killed this movie is the fact the storyline was terrible, it has no basis. If you're bestfriends wife was cheating on him, you would just tell him. You wouldn't spend ages debating it and asking different people, sneaking around and getting up to God knows what. It was a dumbIt wasn't a very good movie, it was a long and drawn out affair but it did have some very funny parts in it. What killed this movie is the fact the storyline was terrible, it has no basis. If you're bestfriends wife was cheating on him, you would just tell him. You wouldn't spend ages debating it and asking different people, sneaking around and getting up to God knows what. It was a dumb movie, dumb but slightly funny, Expand
  13. May 18, 2011
    4
    What Howard has here is a film that follows the genre...so far, beats about the bush a bit further, digresses toward a flash of intrigue, then falls straight on its face---leaving a hefty rash of deep-rooted 'botanical' dissatisfaction. "The Dilemma" is nothing more than a rom-com filled with the usual paranoia, speculation, sex, lies, and melodrama---the only difference---the PG-13 ratingWhat Howard has here is a film that follows the genre...so far, beats about the bush a bit further, digresses toward a flash of intrigue, then falls straight on its face---leaving a hefty rash of deep-rooted 'botanical' dissatisfaction. "The Dilemma" is nothing more than a rom-com filled with the usual paranoia, speculation, sex, lies, and melodrama---the only difference---the PG-13 rating decided to lose its diapers. What transpires is a miss-matched, unconvincing, uninteresting concoction of a recurringly flat and soporific Vince Vaughn-meets-Mall Cop-meets Deeds-soap opera that takes an earnestly darker and contemplative approach to heartbreak. The bottom line: the combination doesn't make for many laughs. Expand
  14. Feb 26, 2011
    4
    It was a decent, somewhat entertaining but no many laugh out loud parts. Worth a watch but another very easily forgettable movie as others have done it better. The cast is the only thing that even held this somewhat together, otherwise it would have tanked worse.
  15. Jan 16, 2011
    4
    About as good as I expected. Somewhat entertaining but the best scenes were in the preview. There were just far too many parts that seemed to drag.
  16. Feb 24, 2013
    4
    The Dilemma was OK. I have never really liked Vince Vaughn, but he was actually very good in it. The movie wasn't particularly funny, but it had a good storyline. I found it very basic and much longer than it had to be. It is what it is, just your typical ordinary romantic comedy. Not really my thing...
  17. Aug 25, 2012
    4
    Sometimes it feels as if members of the Frat Pack just spew out films when they want money rather than for artistic measure (not that I blame them). It isn't very good and I really do not think that Kevin James can be a truly successful film actor. I enjoyed the role played by Channing Tatum as well as the chemistry between Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Connolly.
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 21, 2011
    70
    Ryder is devious and witchy, her eyes flashing, her crinkly voice developing knife edges. She gives an acidly brilliant performance as a desperate, lying woman. [24 Jan. 2011, p. 83]
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 20, 2011
    50
    I'm not sure whether Howard and screenwriter Allan Loeb are to be commended for aspiring to something odd and original, or condemned for a result that's so messy and miscellaneous.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 19, 2011
    50
    As a rollicking comedy, it isn't.