Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

The Dilemma (12A)

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Connelly

The poster, plus the presence of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, would indicate a fluffy blue-collar bromance, but Ron Howard's film pulls an almighty gear change about halfway in.

Vaughn and James play best buddies whose auto business looks about to take off with a major new contract. Then Vaughn catches James's wife (Winona Ryder) out with another guy, and agonises over whether to tell him or not. Cue for a comedy of awkwardness? Actually, no. It takes an alarming swerve in a confrontation scene between Vaughn and Ryder, propelling the film into a murky brew of sexual dysfunction, betrayal and blackmail while the cast – including poor Jennifer Connolly as Vaughn's girlfriend – try to play catch-upHoward, directing with his trademark bland impersonality, seems not to notice the mismatch and gives us the worst of both worlds: a comedy without laughs, and a drama without tension.



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