The Dilemma - 23rd June 2011

I had heard all the criticisms: the negative use of the word gay, what the hell was Ron Howard doing slumming it with this week sauce comedy, it didn't know what genre it wanted to be, Queen Latifa acted like an idiot (although when she became the bench mark for high art I don't know - like to enlighten me?) and none of the characters were likable.

Well yes, ok, some of those are fair points, for example it does swing violently all over the place in terms of mood with one minute being a drama, one minute being a farce and next moment being some sort of ridiculous lads comedy but for anyone who saw Vince Vaughn's film The Break Up you'll know that the ones where he has input on the idea, mainly writing or producing, usually seem genuinely interested in the idea of relationships, not in the usual 'boy meets girl' but what happens once boy has met girl, got together and the real challenges start.

Financially, for Vaughn, these have been good waters to tread but, like we have learnt, a films take is no indication of actually how good the film is and when it comes to that he has had varying degrees of success with this concept over his past few films, from the very good (The Break Up) to the 'how did so many right people get something so horribly wrong' (Couples Retreat). He has dealt with break ups, how do couples who are great together privately deal with their dutso families, what happens when another couples mooted break up effects 3 other couples and now the Dilemma which can be boiled down to what happens when one member of two great couples finds out that his friends wife is cheating on him?

Well next to the Break Up this is the second best film of this type that Vaughn has attempted, there is quite a drop off but thankfully Four Christmases and Couples Retreat this is not. Yes some of the jokes and slapstick maybe a bit broad but so was a lot of The Break Up and I honestly always appreciate the attempt to do something more than just the generic rom-com.

Proving, if proof was ever needed, that Ron Howard has absolutely no style of directing what-so-ever, this film could have been directed by generic-blockbuster-comedy-director number 5 and you wouldn't know the difference and while I applaud Vaughn attempting to work with lots of different people each time I am not sure how well this cast gelled together. Individually they were all fine but I am not sure I can handle Winona Ryder anymore, she's just weird.

He may have the success rate of late era Woody Allen, with more misses than hits but I, for one, am willing to allow him to mine the concept of all the possibilities of 'what happens once you're with someone' for as long as he likes and with all the different cast/director combos he can think of because as almost all of The Break Up and parts of The Dilemma show somewhere in his rapid fire delivery is some really good ideas just waiting to be given some form and structure and you never know, it might happen again yet.

6 out of 10 bagels confused as doughnuts and the eater gets a slightly disappointing but not unpleasant experience.
Points from the Wife 6.5 out of 10

Drive - 17th September 2011

Best in Show - 20th June 2011