Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with several film projects in development for both television and theatrical distribution. She is also a 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Winner for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Caroline currently serves as EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a film finance and production company headquartered in the Atlanta area. She lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and three children and can be found at

At The Movies

The Dilemma

The DilemmaI’m normally not a Vince Vaughn fan, but this film, costarring Kevin James, renewed my faith in him as a leading man. I had avoided this movie for some time, thinking it was a typical Hollywood romcom full of raunch, but again, free HBO encouraged me to give it a try. While it has some questionable scenes and unsavory dialogue most Christians won’t like, there are some surprising spiritual elements in the script that gave me hope in Ron Howard as a storyteller.

Set in Chicago, The Dilemma is a classic buddy picture starring Vaughn (Ronny), a witty, fast-talking, confirmed bachelor who is in a long-term relationship with Beth (played by Jennifer Connelly). In contrast, his best friend and business partner, James (Nick), is a sweet, adorable, and happily married man who dotes on his wife, Geneva (played by Wynona Ryder). Buddies since college, Ronny and Nick own an auto design firm whose success hinges on a dream project with a Big-Three car manufacturer and an engine design based solely on Nick’s genius.

While Nick spends every waking hour working on their design, Ronny handles PR and marketing, and most important, keeps Nick happy so that the project deadline can be met. Everything seems to be going well until Ronny inadvertently witnesses Geneva with a younger man (played by the extremely handsome Channing Tatum, despite being covered in tattoos). Ronny follows Geneva and her lover through a botanical garden, confirming his suspicions of her infidelity. Typical Vaughn hilarity ensues as physical humor lands Ronny face down in a pile of expensive, poisonous plants that burn the skin and bring on a slew of nasty side effects that are only the beginning of his woes.

Set on telling Nick everything he has seen, Ronny returns to the design studio and suddenly has a change of heart. There are problems with the project, which has put Nick in a panic and created a bad case of bleeding ulcers. Hoping to

avoid financial ruin, Ronny puts off Nick temporarily, but Geneva’s duplicity soon brings Ronny’s temper to a boiling point. One minute she is gushing over her husband, and the next minute she is secretly cavorting with her boyfriend.

Finally, he confronts her with the truth and more disaster ensues. Determined to protect his friend from an unfaithful wife, Ronny risks his relationship with his sister, his business connections in Detroit, and, most important, his relationship with Beth.

Spurred on by Geneva and her boyfriend, Beth and Nick come to believe that Ronny’s lies and erratic behavior are just a cover for a recurring bout of compulsive gambling. They surprise him with an intervention, which can only be described as a clever combination of comedy and tragedy. Great writing, acting, and directing made this scene memorable.

But what sold me on this movie was a small, very tender scene that takes place on a city street bench after Ronny has had a terrible fight with Geneva’s boyfriend (again, a very clever combination of humor and tragedy). With everything coming against him and the truth bearing down on his conscience, Ronny looks up into the night sky and cries out to God, praying for guidance and help. It was unexpected and yet so refreshing. I would see the movie again just for that one scene. What a pleasure to see nuggets of truth tucked into a secular film; I felt like I had uncovered buried treasure.

The message of the film was the importance of telling the truth and not hiding it from those you love for fear of their being hurt. As Ronny painfully discovers, keeping the truth buried away actually creates the hurt, since truth cannot be kept secret forever. But with every great story, there is forgiveness, redemption, and restoration, as there is with Ronny and Nick.

The final scene portrayed all of this beautifully as they roll around on the ice at a Blackhawks’ hockey game, locked in each others’ arms. It touched my heart to see a story display the great brotherly love two men have for each other. Watch it for yourself and see if you agree.