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SOLITARY MAN (director: David Levien/Brian Koppelman; screenwriter: Brian Koppelman; cinematographer: Alwin Kuchler; editor: Tricia Cooke; music: Michael Penn; cast: Michael Douglas (Ben Kalmen), Mary-Louise Parker (Jordan Karsch), Jenna Fischer (Susan Porter), Jesse Eisenberg (Daniel Cheston), Imogen Poots (Allyson Karsch), Susan Sarandon (Nancy Kalmen), David Costabile (Gary Porter) Danny DeVito (Jimmy Marino); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paul Schiff/Steven Soderbergh/Avi Lerne/Moshe Diamant; Anchor Bay; 2009)
A worthwhile watch even if an overlooked film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Co-directors Brian Koppelman (“Knockaround Guys“) and David Levien (“Knockaround Guys“) use Koppelman’s screenplay that depicts an oily solitary man’s decline who is given a second chance. The film went straight to DVD even with a solid performance by Michael Douglas.

The former owner of a string of big-time New York suburban car dealership, Ben Kalmen (Michael Douglas), known in the media as an honest car dealer from New York, has fallen from the top because of crooked deals and chasing the skirts, and is now trying to rebound both personally and professionally. The father of his new girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker) is willing to start him up again in a dealership if he can behave himself. But trouble lurks when he takes the girlfriend’s attractive teenage daughter to the campus of his alma mater to meet the dean.

A terrific supporting cast includes Susan Sarandon (the ex-wife), Jenna Fischer (his perplexed daughter), Danny DeVito (an old college pal, running a deli in town), Imogen Poots (the daughter of the wealthy woman Douglas is seeing) and Jesse Eisenberg (the college nerd on campus). If you add them to Douglas’s powerful performance, it should make this a worthwhile watch even if an overlooked film.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”