Solitary Man (2010) Review

Ben Kalman (Michael Douglas) 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.

This is certainly one of those films which relies heavily on the leads performance and how you feel about that character. In this case Michael Douglas heads the cast, and we all know what a fantastic actor he is. As Ben Kalman, despite his womanizing ways, along with forgetting important events, I still ended up feeling quite sorry for him in the end. Even though you really shouldn’t as he is his own worst enemy.

We get a look into his relationship with his ex-wife, daughter, grandson, girlfriends and young women he sleeps with. The fact that he does seem to have an issue with sleeping with younger women is highlighted when he ends up in bed with his girlfriends daughter whilst on a trip to a university. I have to admit that it did shock me a little bit, as I really wasn’t expecting the film to go in that direction. Although the worst part had to be the girl telling her mother practically straight away. Rather low! But this helps highlight the problems Ben seems to be having. Some kind of mid-life crisis?

His grandson thinks the world of him and he has to be his favorite person in the world. But can Ben manage to keep everything in order to keep seeing his grandson? Well he certainly tries to mess everything up.

We get to see a little reunion between Douglas and long time friend Danny DeVito. They have been in many films together over the years, and it was very nice to see them back in similar roles alongside each other. Still managing to help each other out a lot on-screen, making a friendship believable (due to their connections off-screen).

We also get to see Jesse Eisenberg in his usual college student geeky role, you would honestly think he came straight from Facebook, I mean ‘The Social Network’ has it was exactly the same character. But I guess he really does do it well, he is taken under Ben’s wing at one point when it comes to women and makes it up to him in the end when he manages to mess that up as well.

All of this behaviour from Ben is stemmed from a hospital check he has about his heart, instead of getting everything checked out more throughly he then ends up on the journey that nothing can hurt him. Resulting in his playboy and reckless lifestyle.

I really did find myself enjoying this film due to Michael Douglas’ performance. He still has his charm and charisma which I totally love. He is definitely one of my favorite actors, he just has fantastic screen presence. I don’t think anyone can do it better than Michael.

3 thoughts on “Solitary Man (2010) Review

  1. It’s tough to find sympathy in a character who with every step further destroys himself. In a way he’s like Randy from The Wrestler. Didn’t like the ending as it seemed so forced and unrealistic. But I agree, I did very much like the appearance of Danny DeVito and their effortless chemistry.

    The acting was pretty solid and as a fan of Douglas this type of role was perfect for him…kind of like Gordon Gekko light. Also glad to see Eisenberg taking a more stand up role that’ll help distance himself from Michael Cera type casting in the future…although I think the Social Network pretty much did that in one fell swoop:P


    • Agree with you about the ending it kinda went back on everything that had happened throughout the film.

      Interesting comparison to Randy from The Wrestler. I must been strange in who I feel sorry for as I totally felt for the Ram as well lol.


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