A Chicago Icon
Last Friday, NBC Universal’s new movie "The Dilemma" opened in theaters. Starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, the movie focuses on the troubling decision Ronny Valentine is forced to make when he catches his best friend’s wife with another man. As nothing is ever simple in life, there is more than just friendship on the line in the movie. This wrench in the wheel occurs just as the two friends are embarking on a new deal with Chrysler that has the potential to make or break each man financially. All in all, "The Dilemma" offers movie-goers a twisted love triangle and, surprisingly, a glimpse of a fully re-branded Dodge.
But those are the OBVIOUS plots of the movie. What I am excited about is a third, subtle and undeniable theme to "The Dilemma:" the remarkable city of Chicago. Barely a scene in the movie goes by that doesn’t illustrate the strong bond that Chicagoans feel with the Windy City—from Cubs attire, to El rides (with interesting CTA passengers) and often overlooked neighborhoods, "The Dilemma" is infused with the presence of our fair City. Including the Chicago Auto Show.
Let me share the scene with you. Opening credits are still rolling as our two friends, Ronny and Nick, attend none other than the Chicago Auto Show. As the two men make their way past shiny cars, onlookers, cameras and crew personnel proudly wearing blue coveralls stamped with "Chicago Auto Show," one thing becomes clear: the Chicago Auto Show helps to set the tone for this feature length film. The movie is about two friends. It’s about making our favorite new cars sound like those vehicles of old that first made us fall in love with auto industry—cars like the ‘65 Pontiac GTO, the ’66 Ford GT-350 and the 1970 Hemi. And, through it all, it’s about the iconic attributes of the city of Chicago that help keep us warm through the cold winters.
After all, the Chicago Auto Show is not only one of the best in the nation (it is for sure the largest) and it has slowly and surely made its way into the hearts of Second City-zens. Each year, scores of people from the north side, the south side, the west side, the east side (haha, just kidding) and the suburbs all stop by McCormick Place to see the show. Parents bring their children, businesses bring their clients and couples even make a Valentine’s Day date out of it. And really, does anything proudly cry "CHICAGO" like the relationship between a driver and her car on a sunny Saturday afternoon on Lakeshore Drive? Or the beautiful lakeside convention center that hosts the exhibition or like the convergence of people and celebrities from each and every nook and cranny of the city at the Chicago Auto Show?
In "The Dilemma," our characters have the hearts of a lion, and in many ways Chicago (and the Chicago Auto Show) is their den.
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