You can tell The Dilemma is a dud just from watching the trailer. There’s Vince Vaughn and Kevin James doing sitcom schtick as best buds and business partners (they build car engines in Chicago). Then comes the dilemma: Nick (that’s James) has a hot wife, Geneva (Winona Ryder — the film’s only live wire), who Ronny (that’s Vaughn) catches smooshing with stud muffin Zip (Channing Tatum). Should Ronny tell? Nothing like killing a laugh buzz with a moral question. Actually, Woody Allen does it all the time, and to provocative and thoughtful effect (see Crimes and Misdemeanors).
The Dilemma is miles below the Woodman’s class. It’s possible that a more astringent script could have provided fuel for the actors and A-list director Ron Howard, slumming after Frost/Nixon. But the engine built to formula specifications by screenwriter Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) is running on empty. The January movie burial ground claims another victim. RIP.