Review this movie
Sep 19, 2010Michael Douglas fans will enjoy his flawless performance as disgraced businessman Ben Kalmen in the darkly funny Solitary Man.
Hailed as giving his best performance since Wonder Boys and Wall Street, Douglas plays an unlikeable but irresistible car salesman facing a mid-life crisis. His doctor worries about Kalmen's EKG, and orders further tests. Kalmen flees reality as he schmoozes, drinks and parties his way to near-oblivion. We meet him again six years later.
Kalmen is determined to do all the things he ever wanted to do in life, he tells his loyal ex-wife Susan Sarandon. For him this means cheating, lying, and even enjoying a one-night stand with the daughter (Imogen Poots) of his current girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker).
Douglas brings much depth and charisma to his character Kalmen. Along his downward spiral he seeks to mentor a nerdy college student (Jesse Eisenberg), and reunites with an old buddy (Danny DeVito), who exudes wit and wisdom as he operates a diner. Yet Kalmen's continued bad choices alienate almost everyone around him.
Solitary Man not only shows the personal costs of the ego run amuck in Kalmen's sex addiction, but the human side of a detestable man. Jailed for his business transgressions at the height of his fame as "New York's Honest Car Dealer," Kalmen begs with panache from his daughter (Jenna Fischer) and ex-wife.
David Levien and Brian Koppelman (who wrote and directed Knockaround Guys and The Girlfriend Experience) direct this showcase for Douglas with the help of an excellent cast. Koppelman also wrote Solitary Man's intelligent script.
Finally Sarandon and DeVito are the characters who genuinely understand and seek to help Ben. In his own twisty mind, Kalmen believes he is helping himself.
Douglas will reprise his role as Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).… Collapse
Nov 22, 2010Michael Douglas is at his best in this dark comedy. The film is intelligent, sexy, funny, and pure fun. It gives you just enough drama to keep it interesting, while silently incorporating amusement when you least expect it. Jesse Eisenberg still shows he is a rising star, with raw acting talent. You have Douglas' right hand man Danny DeVito, who gives a notable side role. The dialogue between Susan Sarandon's character and Michael Douglas' are some of my favorite moments, despite the several "WTF just happened" moments that will keep viewers wondering what other crazy detail will the cast unveil next. No complaints here.… Expand
A movie of no small generosity: It offers audiences the pleasures of a screenplay whose every acerbic line is firmly rooted in character, and it hands Michael Douglas one of his best roles in years.