Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Movie Review: "Solitary Man"

5. Michael Douglas has made a career out of being a sort of anti-Harrison Ford.

4. While Ford's trademark heroes (Han Solo, Indiana Jones and especially John Book in "Witness") tend to be decent men pushed to the edge by circumstance who pull it out in the end, Douglas' roles ("Falling Down," "Wonder Boys" and "King of California") are screw ups who implode their own lives only to seek redemption by the grace of the higher-functioning moral characters around him.

3. Douglas plays Ben Kalmen much the same way: He was a successful guy who gets a scare at the doctor's office and proceeds ruin his successful business, to cheat on his wife (Susan Sarandon), have sex with the 19-year-old daughter (Imogen Poots) of his girlfriend (Marie-Louise Parker) and treat his friends (Danny DeVito and Jesse Eisenberg) and family (Jenna Fischer) poorly.

2. The problem with "Solitary Man" is Ben is neither crazy enough nor charming enough to redeem his jerk behavior and he's not sympathetic enough to cut him slack while he figures out his malfunction.

1. The movie ends on an ambiguous note which, much like Ben and the flick as a whole, I can't decide whether it's brilliant or just a jerk move.

"Solitary Man"
Run Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Rated R
Genre: Drama
Director: David Levien
Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg, Danny DeVito
Finney's Flicks Grade: B-

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