Ben Kalman is aging: he has heart problems, his marriage is over, he's lost a fortune after being caught cutting corners in his East Coast car business, and he's sleeping with as many women as possible - the younger the better. He's chosen his current girlfriend, Jordan, because her father can help him get a new auto dealership; she's asked him to escort her daughter, Allyson, 18, on a visit to a Boston college campus. He behaves badly, and there are consequences to his love life, his finances, and his relationship with his daughter and grandson. Is there anywhere he can turn? Written by
Michael Douglas and Danny Devito were roommates in New York in the 1960s. See more »
When my father gave me this place years ago, I used to dream about these girls. Every night, dreams, all kinds of dreams about 'em. But then I'd see them coming back after graduation. They'd come to homecomings, ballgames. They'd sit at the same tables, eat the same food. And I'd look at them and I noticed, they don't stay like this. None of 'em. They put on years and pounds and wrinkles. And I got one like that at home. So. And we can talk to each other. I know her and I'll always know her.
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"You can't cheat death, Benny. Nobody can, no matter how many
19-year-olds you talk into your bed."
The topic of the mid-life crisis and men losing their identity and
sense of self as they get older has been fertile ground for movies in
the past, and Solitary Man is another entry into that sub-genre.
It's a drama with slight comedic elements. Michael Douglas stars as a
once powerful man who lost his wealth and position when he was caught
running a scam. He fills that void with ill-advised trysts with young
women and depending emotionally on his exasperated daughter. When his
last-ditch attempt to regain his past career is derailed because of
another poor decision, he has to confront what his life has become, his
own self- destructive behavior, and how his choices have affected the
people around him. This isn't a ground-breaking story, but it's
certainly watchable and occasionally emotionally involving.
The real reason to see Solitary Man is the cast. Along with Douglas,
the movie stars Mary-Louise Parker, Imogen Poots, Danny DeVito, Susan
Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jenna Fisher. Some of the parts are
bigger than others (I really wish Sarandon would have been a larger
part of the movie), but fans of any of them will want to see this.
For everyone else, Solitary Man is a movie you should watch if it
piques your interest. Will you be adding it to the list of your
all-time favorites? Probably not. It's definitely worth ninety minutes
on a Sunday afternoon, though.
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