Thursday, June 3, 2010

Solitary Man

Summary: Ben Kalemen (Michael Douglas) was a man with everything. He had a successful car dealership business, a loving family, money and happiness. This all changed when his doctor told him there were some irregularities with his heart. Too scared to go for the test and find out the results Kalemen immediately decides to live life to the fullest. Fast forward six years later, Kalemen is divorced, dead broke, seen as liability in his line of work, and a chaser of 19 year old girls. Instead of sugaring coating life’s little lessons, his personal thoughts on people and their situations, Kalemen is now as blunt and real as they come. What you see his is struggle.

Plot (A): This is an indie flick that is very good and I highly recommend it. It’s sad and depressing but funny at the same time. While you find out the reasons for Kalmen’s method of madness and self-destruction you will still wonder why. He had everything in life but he was too scared to face reality and therefore fucked it up…purposely. He spends his days trying to get his career back on track but cannot seem to do so due to the lies he has told. When he isn’t trying to finagle his way back to the top Kalemen is chasing young girls or seeking a form of therapeutic help from his daughter played by Jenna Fisher.

Action: N/A

Acting & Dialogue (A): Michael Douglas is phenomenal in this film. Part of his character reminds me of his Gordon Gecko character from Wallstreet without being an overly greedy sleezeball. As I wrote above, Kalemen sees no reason to lie to people about themselves, their situations, and even himself. His skills as a car salesmen allow him to read people immediately and call them out on their bullshit. As I was watching this movie I saw a connection between Douglas’ character and myself. I too refuse to be anything but myself. I say what I feel even if it’s vulgar and blunt. The majority of the time it’s done with a touch of comedy but it’s still me. If you know me then you understand. I even try to let my honesty and genuine demeanor come across in my writing. If something is great I’ll tell you, but if something is shit you’ll know just the same. I see no reason to sugar coat things or to be fully PC. The only difference between Kalemen and myself is that he does it at the expense of hurting the ones he loves and I don’t. Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fisher (The Office) Jessie Eisenberg (Zombieland), and the beautiful, sexy Mary Louise Parker all play a strong supporting cast for Michael Douglas. Each character they portray play a significant role in Kalemen’s past and present life.

Sex Appeal (6): Somebody wanna tell me when Susan Sarandon tits got so damn big? Although you don’t see them her cleavage is presented quite nicely and hard not to notice.

Director (B+): Solitary Man was directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levian. Both worked on the 2001 film Knockaround Guys, which I heard was shit. I really liked their chemistry and felt they told an excellent story. We’ve all seen movies where men are suffering from a mid-life crisis and feel they have to do certain extreme things to regain a sense of youth. While this film doesn’t walk off that particular path the directors were able to show the absolute extremes a man would go. What I didn’t care for was the ending. (Since this film is limited to major cities I feel that I can express my thoughts about it.) I’m starting to see a trend in Hollywood with these ambiguous endings and I’m not liking it. While in certain cases it works, such as The Wrestler, I would have liked to see an end result with Douglas’ character.

Overall: A-

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