Michael Douglas has some masterful surprises up his sleeve as Ben Kalmen, a once honest car salesman who abandons interest in both his reputation and his family after learning of an irregularity in his heart. Instead of returning to his doctor to discover the cause of his condition, Ben uses his cutthroat charm to seduce younger women like a dog in heat. He also wants to obtain a new car dealership (his last one tanked due to some unsavory business practices).
Solitary Man is a dark comedy about the mid-life crisis of the breed of man who can only gauge his own worth by how effective he is at scheming young women into bed, even (especially) if it's the 18-year-old daughter of the woman he's dating.
It's an addiction that Douglas plays to a tee.
The film wouldn't work with anyone other than Douglas, for whom the part was written by the writing/directing team of Brian Koppleman and David Levien (Rounders). But with the always-interesting Douglas in the driver's seat, you can't help but be drawn into the mind and actions of a character who refuses to accept his limitations. Grade: B
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