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Dilemma, The


Stars: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah, Clint Howard, Any Morton

Director: Ron Howard

This Vince Vaughn vehicle wants to be a comedy and hesitates to be a drama. It's perhaps not surprising, then, that on neither end of the scale is it particularly effective. Dilemma is right.

VV plays a 40-year-old businessman called Ronny Valentine; presently, he's trying to get funds for a new electric car that's the brainchild of his partner and best friend Nick (James). Ronny's relationship with a chef (a skeletal Connelly) is reaching the serious stage, especially as both have just turned 40, while his tubby partner seems happily married to attractive Geneva (Ryder, shrill) - until Ronny, in a botanical centre looking for a nice spot to propose, spots her in a passionate embrace with a tattooed stranger (Tatum). To tell or not to tell?

The rest of the film is a series of confrontations, with the car story (and Latifah with it) shunted into the background. Scenes between Tatum and Vaughn are particularly weak, while Latifah should simply be doing leading roles; only the serious-looking Connelly brings a ring of truth to some of the dialogue.

But do people really behave like this? If they don't, then their unlikely actions here need to be made more entertaining: too often one's inclination is to look away from, rather than at a film that is neither fish nor fowl.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Universal . Colour.
112 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 16 Jan 2011