In "Solitary Man" Michael Douglas plays a once successful 60 year old car dealer who's spent the last six years in a self-destructive, downward spiral.
The terrific performance Douglas gives in this smart, entertaining movie shows why, at the age of 64, he's still a movie star.
In this film, he's Ben Kalmen, a shameless womanizer who goes after females young enough to be his granddaughter.
Six years ago, a doctor told him that the results of his EKG weren't good, and that's when he started lying to his wife and scamming customers at his dealership.
Susan Sarandon is the middle aged wife who finally left him. But though she long ago had enough of his lies and womanizing, she still has some genuine affection for him.
Ben's life is in ruins but he's still charming, witty and smart, just not smart enough to stop fooling himself.
When a financial crisis forces him to take a waiter's' job from Danny DeVito, a college friend he hasn't seen in 30 years, he can't believe DeVito has never cheated on his wife with any of the college girls who come into his restaurant. His friend explains to him that, yes, the girls are attractive but "they don't stay that way." They add years, pounds, and wrinkles, DeVito points out, and he already has a woman like that at home, a wife he can talk to.
"Solitary Man" takes just the right tone. It gets the audience to sympathize with Ben even as we see right through his massive delusions. And Michael Douglas is one important key to the movie's success.