Solitary Man

Rated 2.0

Whenever I read about the decline of male dominance in the 21st century, I can’t help but think about Michael Douglas. The epitome of sleek, type-A masculinity 20 years ago, Douglas has been doing penance by playing a series of washed-up, shambling dirtbags all decade long. It’s indicative of Douglas’ acting rut that his latest, Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s musty indie Solitary Man, offers him a lead tailor-made to play off his history as both an on-screen yuppie sleaze and an off-screen sexaholic, yet he still fails to find any truth in the character. However, you can’t blame Douglas—he does OK as disgraced car salesman/full-time skirt chaser Ben Kalmen, who may or may not want to get his life back together. The real culprit is the stale direction based on the programmatic script from Koppelman (Ocean’s 13).