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Solitary Man
     

Solitary Man

Director: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Michael Douglas, Mary-Louise Parker

Cast: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Michael Douglas, Mary-Louise Parker

 
Michael Douglas stars in this dialogue-driven comedy drama about an ethically challenged New York businessman who finds his life falling apart due to a series of career missteps and personal foul-ups. Once upon a time, Ben Kalmen (Douglas) had everything a man could possibly want -- a high-paying job, a beautiful wife, and a spacious Manhattan apartment -- but now all

Overview

Michael Douglas stars in this dialogue-driven comedy drama about an ethically challenged New York businessman who finds his life falling apart due to a series of career missteps and personal foul-ups. Once upon a time, Ben Kalmen (Douglas) had everything a man could possibly want -- a high-paying job, a beautiful wife, and a spacious Manhattan apartment -- but now all of that is a distant memory. The former owner of a successful auto dealership, Ben has recently lost everything thanks to his own inability to resist his impulses. But the resilient Ben isn't the type of guy to stay down for the count, and lately things are starting to look up for him again. Despite being divorced from his former college sweetheart Nancy (Susan Sarandon), Ben still manages to see his daughter, Susan (Jenna Fischer), and his grandson on a regular basis, and his new girlfriend, Jordan (Mary-Louise Parker), may have just the connections needed to help the floundering businessman get his career back on track. When Ben takes Jordan's college-bound daughter, Allyson (Imogen Poots), on a tour of a prospective school, however, his steely new resolve is put to the ultimate test.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The critical consensus was that Solitary Man represented Michael Douglas' best work since Wonder Boys a decade earlier. Best, maybe; most likable, no. In both films, Douglas is a middle-aged charmer who ignores warning signs in his health by losing himself in youthful pastimes -- smoking marijuana in Wonder Boys, chasing women who could be his granddaughters in Solitary Man. But the comparison ends there. Solitary Man's Ben Kalmen is simply not a very good person. We'd gladly forgive the shady business dealings that forced him to forfeit a successful car dealership; that's the kind of flaw we accept in, and expect from, our protagonists, the necessary sin at the beginning of any road to redemption. It's his voracious appetite for young women that's not so cute -- in part, though least importantly, because this compulsion is so self-destructive, in one case threatening to derail his comeback in the business world. More importantly, grandfathers who seduce high school seniors are just plain icky. Comparing Ben to Wonder Boys' pot-smoking professor, Grady Tripp, might not seem relevant if Solitary Man weren't consciously or unconsciously imitating Wonder Boys in other ways, such as setting a chunk of the action in a university town, featuring a handful of absurd set pieces, and putting forth a wistful tone that doesn't quite work with this particular story. Fortunately, Douglas himself is deserving of any and all accolades directed at him. He's nuanced, he's believably blind to his own flaws, and sometimes, he's wickedly funny. The problem is that writer-director Brian Koppelman and co-director David Levien want us to really like this man, so much so that they try to let him off the hook with only a couple small-scale comeuppances. It seems Ben's creators are just as charmed by him as the teenage girls he craves.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/2011
UPC:
0013132283494
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas Ben Kalmen
Mary-Louise Parker Jordan
Jenna Fischer Actor
Jesse Eisenberg Actor
Imogen Poots Actor
Ben Shenkman Actor
David Costabile Actor
Susan Sarandon Nancy
Danny DeVito Actor

Technical Credits
Brian Koppelman Director,Screenwriter
David Levien Director
Selena Arizanovic Musical Direction/Supervision
Doug Bernheim Musical Direction/Supervision
Tricia Cooke Editor
Boaz Davidson Executive Producer
Moshe Diamant Producer
Danny Dimbort Executive Producer
Joe Gatta Executive Producer
Jenny Gering Costumes/Costume Designer
Jared Goldman Co-producer
Dana Golomb Producer
Douglas Huszti Art Director
Avy Kaufman Casting
Alwin Küchler Cinematographer
Avi Lerner Executive Producer
Clint Mansell Score Composer
Heidi Jo Markel Producer
Michael Penn Score Composer
Robert Pearson Production Designer
Paul Schiff Producer
Trevor Short Executive Producer
Steven Soderbergh Producer
John Thompson Executive Producer
Thomas G. Varga Sound/Sound Designer

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