When 'Swingers' first came out in 1996, it would have been hard to believe that a decade later Vince Vaughn would be making lame rom-coms with the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Sure, he brings an undeniable charm to every role he takes on, but with the scripts he's been choosing lately, there's only so far his charm can take him. It seems as though he's often on autopilot, half-heartedly delivering his zingers in movies like 'Four Christmases' and 'Couples Retreat.'
Vaughn's latest flick, 'The Dilemma,' shows us a glimmer of the slick fast-talking Vince we grew to love in classics like 'Swingers' and 'Old School.' He plays a man who catches his best friend's wife cheating on him. His friend is under a lot of pressure at work, so Vaughn's character anguishes over whether to tell him immediately, or wait until after the work situation calms down.
Unfortunately, even with Vaughn bringing his 'A'-game, the movie still falls a bit flat. It's surprising, considering the caliber of cast and crew involved. It was directed by Ron Howard, who has helmed great films including 'A Beautiful Mind' and 'Frost/ Nixon,' and co-stars Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly and Winona Ryder. Part of the movie's problem is that it doesn't know what it is, much like 'The Break-Up.' It has funny moments, but it's also uncomfortable to watch at times. It almost seems like it's trying to be an 'It's Complicated' style dramedy, missing two very important ingredients: Nancy Meyers and Meryl Streep.
That said, it's great to see Vaughn actually trying again. Just because this one doesn't compare to 'Wedding Crashers' doesn't mean his next one won't. Let's just hope he doesn't revert to phoning it in with another string of underachieving rom-coms. In order to celebrate the glimmer of Vintage Vaughn we see in 'The Dilemma,' here's a list of my top 5 favorite Vince Vaughn movies.
1. 'Swingers.' Vaughn defined the fast-talking, kind-of-an-asshole cool guy as Trent in 'Swingers.' Beautiful babies fell in love with him and guys wanted to be him – or at least befriend him. Imagine a night on the town with Trent. That'd be so money.
2. 'Old School.' Ah, Bernard Campbell. What an instigator! This classic Vaughn character is just the right mix of obnoxious bad-boy and sensitive family man. He inspired Dads everywhere to leverage the "earmuff" technique on their children while indulging in foul language.
3. 'Wedding Crashers.' Jeremy Grey masterfully performs his wingman duties while dealing with stage-five clingers and overly amorous MILFs. Talk about taking some for the team!
4. 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith.' Vaughn was perfect as the wise-cracking best friend Eddie. His nervous babbling offers just the right amount of comic relief during the tense shoot-out scenes.
5. 'Anchorman.' Wes Mantooth, badass newsman. Vaughn's petty taunts as the obnoxious Mantooth lead into the most memorable evening news team rumble in movie history. Even Tim Robbins and his public news team threw down!