You would think a movie starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg and Juno's Olivia Thirlby would have garnered a wider release or more attention in the press.
Then you see Solitary Man and you no longer wonder. I don't mean that in a bad way. But this movie – the flip side to Up in the Air about a total ass who spends 90 minutes of movie time being an ass to everyone around him – is the feel-bad movie of the season.
Here's the catch. I believe it's a very good movie. I believe it has more to say than 85% of films that come out. And I think it's better than Up in the Air. If that has any influence on whether you'll see it, and then you later on want to shoot me, hear me out...
Michael Douglas is absolutely fascinating and uncompromising as a once legendary car salesman who's fallen from grace and into the depths of the lowest humanity. He's divorced. He says whatever vulgar obscenity comes to mind. He hits on women who could be his granddaughters.
There is no saving grace to him. We learn that he fell off the path of righteousness the day he learned his heart might be failing. But do we have any sympathy for him? Hell no. The movie makes you wonder whether he ever really was a good guy at all. He doesn't appreciate his daughter Jenna Fischer, he forgets his grandson's birthday, he asks ex-wife Susan Sarandon for money, and he sleeps with his girlfriend's daughter, and then tries to sleep with supposed new friend Eisenberg's girlfriend, too.
All of his actions add up to a movie that's distasteful, hard to take and meaningful. I sat there disgusted, worn out, and realized, I was supposed to feel that way. And then I started to focus on the performances and the dialogue. When Danny DeVito as his long-forgotten friend and Sarandon try to get through to Douglas, what they say makes sense. His conversations with them make sense. What he says back and how he acts isn't straight out of some cookie-cutter movie factory.
I didn't "enjoy" Solitary Man but I would highly recommend it to filmgoers looking for something that has substance and lingers. It's not as polished as Up in the Air but it's real and its characters are believable up to and beyond its ending…
If you have seen it, let me know what you thought. I think it may be Michael Douglas' best role, but let me know the ones you love…ones we should seek out…I also loved Danny DeVito, and if you haven't seen him in The Big Kahuna, add it to your queue – it's another fantastic film that has great dialogue and real value. Jesse Eisenberg fans, too, if you missed Adventureland, catch it. He's an awesome new talent, so tell me your favorites of his…I'm still hoping to catch Holy Rollers, despite the mixed reviews.
Don't even know if anyone is reading these anymore,but I FINALLY saw Solitary.. on Netflix. Sooo tired of good movies being denied in my area,which incidentally is the capital of our state...anyway..realistic film,makes one really probe the actions of their lives and doesn't dish out any unbelievable puff. Douglas is convincing in every role he takes on,which may have spurred the top knotch work from every one of the supporting cast. Not fun,but worth every minute.The sexual situations were handled well,we knew what was happening without having blatant porn forced on the audience. Hope it makes an impact on men or women unsure of what to do with that wjole mid life excuse for bad behavior.
I am a 61 year old man very similar to the character Michael Douglas plays. Guys my age will relate. Young men need to learn what lies ahead further on down the road. *** Solitary Man is a great movie! A must see and a refreshing change in diet from blue aliens and billion dollar computer special effects.*** Nothing blows up in this movie but a 60 year old man's illusions and delusions about his life, who he was in the past and who he is becoming now. Douglas' character even makes reference to the "lion he was" ***Susan Sarandon was convincing as a mature woman who is still hot, comfortable with who she is, but has a loving heart for her "old lion" ex- husband. Sexuality between an 18 year old girl and a mature man is explored.
Jesse Eisenberg is great in Zombieland and I also thought he did well in Roger Dodger.
It was so convincing, well acted and raw, that it was painful to watch and made me hate it - even though it was very well done. It was so realistic that rather than feel like you were watching a movie about someone being an ass, you really felt like you were actually watching someone be an ass. A woman and her teenage son actually got up and left the movie. The only problem was that Michael Douglas did such a good problem of bringing this jerk to life, that by the end of the movie I didn't care what path he chose, he deserved every bad thing that happened to him, and more. Usually I hate endings that leave things up in the air, but this time I was just glad it was over.
The woman who walked out with her son should stick with Harry Potter! *** More than likely Michael Douglas reminded her of one or more men in her life that she now hates but once was crazy about with lust..*** She should have let her son watch the bloody movie; he would have learned more about who he may become as he shoulders manhood.
Wow.I am definitely going to check this out now.Didn't come out in my area,so have to wait.This is the stuff of life,if what you say is accurate.I am the only one in my group who saw the trueness of Up in the Air.Not enjoyable,but incited self-examination.
Michael Douglas is best when he's playing flawed characters...but this guy makes his "Wonder Boys" professor sound like an angel....
I vote for Douglas as Gordon Gekko in the original Wall Street. Honorable Mentions would be Jack T. Colton in Romancing the Stone (the T stands for Trustworthy) and an underrated performance as President Andrew Shepherd in The American President.
Michael Douglas was amazing as William Foster in Falling Down. It's the role least like his usual smarmy slickster and is by far Joel Schumacher's greatest film.
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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