Friday, January 14, 2011

The Dilemma

What would you do if you saw your best friend's wife making out with another man?  Would you tell him?  What if you both had an important business meeting coming up and you didn't want him distracted?  That's the dilemma Vince Vaughn has when he sees Kevin James' wife, played by Wynona Ryder, hooking up with a tattooed  mimbo.  So is this a dramatic morality tale, like 'Indecent Proposal'?  Or is it a silly comedy with funnymen Vaughn and James?  In some respects it's kind of both, but mostly it fails at trying to hybrid the two.  Most of my favorite movies blend comedy and drama perfectly, but this one just doesn't work.  It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.  And I expected more from director Ron Howard and longtime collaborator producer Brian Grazer, who have made great films like 'Splash', 'Night Shift', 'Parenthood', 'Backdraft', 'Apollo 13', 'A Beautiful Mind', 'Cinderella Man', and 'The Da Vinci Code' to name a few.  These guys know as well as anyone how to make a great movie.  But this ain't it.

Vince Vaughn is really the star of the film, and is also the strongest part.  He was cast wisely.  And Jennifer Connelly, who plays his girlfriend, always does a fine job in everything she's in.  On the other hand, Kevin James just isn't right for his role.  I do like Kevin James, and he's perfect in a sitcom like 'The King of Queens', but he really needs to go back to TV.   Has he ever made a good film?  (Some may respond with 'Hitch' and that is a somewhat acceptable answer, but don't you dare respond with 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' or you will be banned from commenting henceforth.)  And let's not leave out Wynona Ryder.  What happened to her?  She used to be adorable in every role and now she just looks insane, and I'm fairly certain that's not acting.

There's also a B-story thrown in with Vaughn and James trying to sell a new, louder electric car model to a car manufacturer.  I don't think I even understand that sentence, and that storyline just detracted from the film.

This one is kind of a mess, but some people may find it amusing.  So if you're fairly discerning about what you see, then skip this one.  No dilemma there.

Grade: C-


  1. I really like Vince Vaughn, but have found his last bunch of movies really disappointing and not really that funny. He usually has some great moments though. I hope he was doing his crazy rambling thing at least.

  2. Oh there's plenty o' crazy rambling. I don't think he could do otherwise.

  3. Great analysis as always, Bri. Love the Mall Cop reference! You know, a bunch of my friends went to see this movie tonight at Downtown Disney AMC. I'll have to ask them what they thought, and whether they agreed with your review! And if they didn't - what do they know?! That's why YOU'RE the film critic, and they're just viewers. :)

  4. Oh, and I love, love, love Vince Vaughn and would watch anything he does! But I'd go into this with low expectations considering your review.... too bad D will never be prepared to spend 90 minutes or so watching this type of film.