Saturday, June 19, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: Solitary Man

Guest Blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of the comedy drama "Solitary Man".

Let's see how Michael Douglas measures up on Liz's movie scale ...

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this film. I knew it was an indie movie, which was only confirmed by the fact that the screening was held at the Maple Art Theater, and I knew it had a great cast, including Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, and Danny DeVito. What I didn't come to find out until later, however, was that it was a "slice of life" type movie, and those types of movies usually don't interest me much.

Ben Kalmen (Michael Douglas, "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past") is having a midlife crisis of sorts - at age 60. He is divorced from his wife, Nancy (Susan Sarandon, "The Lovely Bones"), and on thin ice with his daughter, Susan (Jenna Fischer, TV's "The Office"), as he often neglects his grandson. He doesn't have any real relationships in his life, which might explain the fact that he sleeps with the youngest women he can find, including the 18-year-old daughter of his soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, Jordan (Mary-Louise Parker, TV's "Weeds"). When he escorts Jordan's daughter back to his alma mater in Boston for her college interview, he finds himself thinking of the past more and more, and his actions become more and more "unlike him," as his daughter says.

I would say Maybe see this movie. The plot was interesting and the movie had a good supporting cast, including Danny DeVito as an old friend of Ben's, and Jesse Eisenberg ("Holy Rollers") as a college tour guide who becomes friends with Ben. However, since it was a "slice of life" movie, there were parts at which I was bored, and consistently checking my watch - although the movie clocks in at only an hour and a half, I felt like a lot of it went by rather slowly. I give this movie a "Maybe," though, because the acting was decent, and the plot had a definite beginning, middle, and end; I also really liked the ending.

"Solitary Man" opens in Detroit on June 25th, and is already in theaters in select cities.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films.


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