Starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. Rated PG.
The Dilemma is about two best friends (played by Vince Vaughn and Kevin James) who push the concept of bromance past the point of no return. You thought Butch and Sundance were close? Ronnie and Nick—two portly business partners who fight and make up like sulking honeymooners—do everything but feed each other wedding cake.
Just in case you get the wrong idea, director Ron Howard layers the proceedings with plenty of manly subtext. Our guys dig chicks, hockey, and muscle cars, but they are evolved enough to care about each other and the environment. (Their business is about developing an electric engine that duplicates the sound of a throaty gas guzzler.) The pair are on the cusp of brokering a deal that will change their lives. Better yet, their personal lives appear to be running on all cylinders. Vaughn's Ronny—normally a fast-talking charmer—is trying to work up enough nerve to propose to his devoted girlfriend, Beth (Jennifer Connelly). And Nick—the shy genius behind their engine design—is deeply in love with his wife, Geneva (Winona Ryder).
Things change when Ronny discovers that Nick's wife is doing the nasty with a mentally unstable hunk (Channing Tatum). He longs to tell his pal about the affair, but Nick is already on the verge of a nervous breakdown thanks to various glitches in his engine design. Ronny becomes obsessed with saving Nick's marriage. What does he get for his trouble? His life falls apart and he gets beaten up a lot.
As a director, Howard has always known how to satisfy mainstream tastes. This time around, he's a bit too heavy-handed, delivering a confusing mix of broad comedy and excessive sentiment. Despite a game cast, The Dilemma keeps stalling before inevitably deciding to conk out.