Saturday, March 26, 2011

Solitary Man (2009)

Movie quotes:
Ben Kalmen: You got your little jokes, you know, the Spanish thing, interests are the same, and the studying. But, um, are you getting it, you know, where it counts?
Maureen: Oh, Ben. Cheston thinks you care about him.
Ben Kalmen: This has nothing to do with him. He's never gonna know about this. Never.
Maureen: Aren't you a little old for all this?
Ben Kalmen: You're still standing here, aren't you?
Maureen: Yeah, 'cause I'm contemplating throwing this drink in your face. But I'm not going to, because I don't want Cheston to know what you just tried. So you can just walk away. Please.
Ben Kalmen: Nothing personal.
Maureen: Hey. That is it, actually. Since you asked, that's what I get from him. Something personal. Besides getting it done where it counts, which he does. Cheston and I reach each other. He's tender and sweet and smart and funny and a million things that you aren't.
Ben Kalmen: I was once, honey. It doesn't last.

At a glance:
Michael Douglas is captivating as a morality-challenged middle aged man in this solid drama

Our review (with spoilers):
Nobody plays self-centered better than Michael Douglas, and in this tour-de-force performance, he’s at the top of his game. He plays serial womanizer Ben, who was once a big player in car sales, with a string of successful dealerships and cover shots on Time Magazine and Forbes. But when middle age is in full bloom, he is unable to deal with thoughts of aging or death, and instead embarks on a quest to bed as many 19 year old girls as possible, despite being married to Nancy (Susan Sarandon). Other morals go out the window as well, and when he is caught in a business fraud, his life spirals downward.

A talented cast, including Jesse Eisenberg, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer, and Imogen Poots bring depth to this story, but Douglas, who is in every scene, is captivating. Despite his age, he has an amazing presence and strength; it is still believable that he could seduce women one-third his age (although this may be the last movie of this kind he can make).

Rating: 3 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"You'd think Michael Douglas has played the charming cad on screen once too often, but damned if he doesn't pull it off once more in grand style."
- Moira MacDonald (Seattle Times)

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