The Dilemma: Is the 2011 Comedy Movie Inspired by Real People?

‘The Dilemma’ is a dark comedy film that follows two best friends — Ronny Valentine and Nick Brannen — who are both business partners in their engine design company. Both have known each other since college and have practically done everything together. With a shot at a contract for an electric car engine for Dodge, things are looking up for their business as well. But when Ronny finds out that Nick’s wife, Geneva, is cheating on him, she convinces him that she’ll call off the affair and not reveal her infidelity to Nick.

Not one to keep secrets from his best friend, especially one as big as this, Ronny starts acting erratically. With their big presentation for Dodge just around the corner, would the two friends be able to deliver on time with this secret looming over them? Directed by Ron Howard, the film stars Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, and Jennifer Connelly, featuring cheek-in-tongue humor and several life lessons that will entertain viewers. But is the storyline based on true events or purely fictional? Let’s dive in and uncover the truth together!

The Dilemma is a Fictional Story

No, ‘The Dilemma’ is not based on a true story. Driven by an original screenplay by Allan Loeb, the film explores the many complexities of friendship and the role that the various responsibilities of adulthood play in the ability to maintain these friendships. Vince Vaughn and Kevin James gel well together every moment they are on screen, making it harder for the audience to remember that they are actors portraying two lifelong friends who haven’t actually been friends since college. The credit for their on-screen camaraderie with each other, in part, goes to director Ron Howard.

In an interview with Fandom Entertainment, Vince Vaughn said, “…Me and Kevin both were so thrilled to work with Ron [Howard] and not just because, you know, of all the great movies that he’s directed. You know, he’s one of the best directors of his time…he’s really done it in a way that he’s made a lot of exceptional movies in a lot of different genres.” Kevin James added how comfortable it is to communicate with the director, owing to the fact that Ron Howard is an actor himself and thus understands an actor’s point of view.

Another aspect that accentuated the bond between all the actors, and not just James and Vaughn, is that all of them were given a significant amount of freedom to interpret their characters and the scenes they were in together. “There was a great solid script and then on top of that before we even started shooting, there was a lot of improv on everyone’s part,” revealed Jennifer Connelly. The actress, who has worked with Ron Howard in the past, is all too familiar with this way of approaching characterization and filmmaking.

The actress continued, “…that’s a really good opportunity for an actor to have that time [to familiarise themselves with their character] when there’s not that pressure on…and then it really informed the scenes. You know, often we wound up, you know, significantly changing scenes or even completely devising entirely new scenes.” ‘The Dilemma’ handles the issue of infidelity through a humorous lens. But it’s done in a way that doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the issue and is entertaining for the audience at the same time as well.

“The best comedy, especially contemporary comedy, always kind of comes out of pain that’s relatable,” said Ron Howard in an interview with Critics Choice. Speaking about Ronny’s struggle in the film about how to break the news to Nick that his wife is cheating on him, the director added, “And who hasn’t been in some version of a situation where, you know, you don’t quite know what you ought to say to somebody?”

He continued, “You don’t know what it means if and when you do, and-and all the trust issues that go with that, and we found that the more we, kind of dimensionalize and delve into that, the funnier our scenes were getting!” With its dry humor and the actor’s brilliant comedic timing, ‘The Dilemma’ is sure to make for an entertaining watch. Though a fictional story, the film is all too real in its depiction of the importance of a close friendship between people that they can rely on in times of need.

Read More: Where Was The Dilemma Filmed?