Brian Koppelman , David Levien
Ben Kalmen is a sleazy, almost reprehensible human being but it affords Douglas the ability to step in the shoes of a familiar archetype. He's successful and charming, a smooth talker, effortless with the ladies—someone we imagine Douglas to be in real life—but he's also a cheater, a liar and an overall scumbag who's only concerned with getting tail and having a good time, making the aptly titled SOLITARY MAN a character study of a really pitiful human being. Douglas is able to layer the potentially obvious performance with an underlying sense of fear, making Kalmen a man scared of connection, scared of dying, scared of knowing anything about himself (including the fact that he might be dying). From the writers of the criminally underrated ROUNDERS, SOLITARY MAN is a redemption story we've seen on film many times before, but the script doesn't sugarcoat the situation or abruptly change the character unrealistically. And Douglas really sells the role to makes it his own.
The movie sports a fantastic supporting cast including Susan Sarandon, Mary Louise Parker, Danny DeVito, THE SOCIAL NETWORK's Jesse Eisenberg, Jenna Fischer (still clearly stretching her dramatic legs), Imogen Poots (hehe) and even a quick appearance by Brita from "Community." As you can expect, none of these are big roles, just quick appearances revolving around Douglas, but each actor get at least one good scene with the title character to make their mark. (Danny DeVito is so crazy as Frank Reynolds on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" now that you almost forget he’s a very competent dramatic actor as well.) But make no mistake, this is Michael Douglas' movie and given the man's unfortunate current situation, one that might be too fitting.
Alone in the Crowd (11:45): Your standard PR fluff piece with nothing but nice things to say about the actors and film.
Extra Tidbit: This marks the first time Douglas and DeVito have shared the screen since WAR OF THE ROSES. Kathleen Turner is still MIA.