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
This film shares its title with a Neil Diamond song sung by Johnny Cash at the beginning of the film. Johnny Cash was known as "the man in black" due to his propensity for wearing all black. Michael Douglas' character spends most of the film wearing black clothing and only occasionally wears anything except black. 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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Well done look at the life of a middle aged man who simply will not give up his vices!
"Solitary Man" clearly is one of those some will like or hate, as it's a complex character study that proves most in life will not give up their vices. As people will always be stubborn and not change their ways. The film also is made watchable by having an all star cast. Micheal Douglas shines as Ben Kalmen a 60 year old man who's complex as it's clear he's going thru a midlife crisis.
The film begins with Ben receiving some bad health news then it flashes ahead six and one half years. And it's clear that this has changed Ben's lifestyle and his personal dealings with his job and family. Ben's now divorced from his wife Nancy(Susan Sarandon)and his relationship with his daughter Susan(Jenna Fischer) is strained. Ben's only satisfaction is his romancing and dating of Jordan(Mary-Louise Parker) an elegant and sophisticated single mother who's attractive and sexy daughter Allyson(Imogen Poots)becomes a conquest of Ben's. That's right when he accompanies Allyson away on a college trip he beds this 18 year old. Also on the trip Ben parties up with a fellow campus student(Jesse Eisenberg). Clearly Ben is trying to live his teenage years all over.
Kalmen can only dream of his past success as a high rolling car magnate in which he threw away due to his crooked dealings. As his complex behavior continues his only comfort is found when he reconnects with Jimmy(Danny Devito) an old school friend who offers Ben a job at his diner. This is a way that Ben can pay off his debts. Slowly you as the viewer see it was just meant for this man to be complex as you have to pay your debts to life and society when you screw up. And clearly as proved with this film when one is in dire straits vices and rediscovering youth is a pleasure of relief. Still you accept the hard ways and see some people don't want to change their ways only you as the viewer root for redemption for complex characters like Ben Kalmen. Overall this was a complex and touching feel good performance from Michael Douglas.
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