Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Dilemma- he said, she said

Directed by Ron Howard

Written by Allan Loeb

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum, and Queen Latifah

Synopsis: Right before the biggest break in their careers, Ronny (Vince Vaughn) catches his best friend's (Kevin James) wife cheating on him.

Javi: What did you expect going into this movie?

Jonesy: I expected a smart comedy because it’s Ron Howard, and I really enjoy him as a director. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what we got. All in all, I just expected funnier and more sophisticated.

Javi: For me, I thought they were going to go in a different direction. Due to the premise and from what the trailers showed, it seemed that the whole movie would focus on Ronny wrestling with the notion of whether to tell his friend the truth. Instead we got an unfocused movie. Also, the story was boring. That’s my biggest pet peeve about movies is when they’re boring. Although we didn’t get the movie that I thought we would, there were a few times where it did take me by surprise, but it was because those moments weren’t earned.

Jonesy: I honestly don’t know how this script got made. There is great talent on the screen, and they were just doing the best they could with the crappy script they were given.

Javi: But with all that talent, why wouldn’t you get the best script possible? How do you get to the point of just making do with what you have with Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, or Ron Howard? Why not get the top-notch script?

Jonesy: I think tonally it was all over the place. It reminded me of Funny People, where they didn’t know what kind of movie they were going for--a comedy or a drama. I think a lot of the confusion in the tone for me came from Vince Vaughn. Here he was just playing, surprise surprise, Vince Vaughn, but even Kevin James had a different character than himself. I believed him as a work-a-holic hiding from his problems.

Javi: I felt when Vince Vaughn was acting in some of the more serious parts, his performance worked. I don’t think the problem is his lack of personality or character. It felt more of lack of direction on Ron Howard’s part, and it’s true that the movie doesn’t know what it wants to do. It juxtaposes very serious psychological issues with this witty bromance banter. But what’s even worse is that the super serious parts don’t go with a really funny parts. The “funny parts” are never hilarious. What’s worse is that they think that the cliché “embarrassing speech” comedy trope actually works here…

Jonesy: NOBODY DOES THAT! No actual human being would ever make a crazy speech in an anniversary party, at a wedding, or a rehearsal dinner. I wish that writers would stop using that situation. Another complaint is that they mention certain traits of a character, then the traits don’t come up in the rest of the movie until the very end, and all of the sudden it's a bigger deal than it was set it up to be.

Javi: I think that the movie as a whole is really just a bunch of slightly funny moments that are strung together by really boring ones. I almost feel that if you had a 4-minute YouTube video could show you all of the funny parts that’s all you’d need.

Jonesy: I think the most underused character is Zip (Channing Tatum) who makes the most out of what could have been a crappy role. He is only in the movie about 20 minutes, and he made more of an impression on me than most of the other characters.

Javi: how about Queen Latifah?

Jonesy: She was a one trick pony though.

Javi: Her role could have been filled by any other sassy lady of comedy like Kristen Wiig or Maya Rudolph.

Jonesy: Her character was fun, but will be forgettable, just like this movie.

Javi: It’s not a bad movie just unfocusedly-mediocre. However, the cinematographer should get major props. He made this movie look gorgeous.

Jonesy: Everything from the hockey scenes to the city shots were amazing.

Javi: Whenever there were the tracking shots that showed off the city really captivated me. So would you recommend this movie to anyone?

Jonesy: No. Well, I guess I could recommend this movie to people I don’t like or people that thought THE BREAKUP was a good movie.

Javi: Or people that went to see SEX AND THE CITY 2, but then I think this would be too brainy for them, so never mind.

Jonesy: I think the type of people that would see SEX AND THE CITY 2... this movie would hit too close to home.

Javi: Oh man Burn Of The Day! But it’s not mindless or derivative; it just doesn’t know what it wants to be.

Jonesy: And that’s why I can’t recommend this movie to anyone.

Javi: Likewise.

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