Friday, June 4, 2010
When discussing tried and true actors with great likability, most would include Michael Douglas. I first fell in love with him back in the 80's as Jack T. Colton, Kathleen Turner's romance book hero come to life in Romancing the Stone. Unfortunately, not even Michael Douglas' charm and charisma will have you rooting for him in Solitary Man.
Ben Kalmen (Douglas) is an immature, self-destructive, lech. He's supposed to be lovably irrepressible and sagaciously fighting back from professional disgrace. But mostly, you just feel like tuning out and leaving him to his own devices.
Speaking of Romancing the Stone, it was great to see the old Douglas/DeVito, chemistry. Danny DeVito plays Jimmy, an old college buddy who gives Ben a job in his diner after Ben hits rock bottom; but even this could have been played to better results. I love Susan Sarandon, she’s aging so beautifully and she’s still so sexy; she plays Kalmen’s ex-wife, but her character seems too sympathetic to her ex-husband and although a few years have passed since their divorce, we aren’t privy as to why she’s so good with everything.
Imogen Poots is a most horrid name, but the actress with this unfortunate moniker was excellent in the film; she plays one of the young women Douglas seduces, who gets far more than what she gives.
Do you want Kalmen to have it all together? No. What good would that be in a character study type film. I feel the problem comes in the execution of revealing who this character was, in relation to who he's become. We don't get that until the very last scene and that's just too late. The other difficulty – it's too dialog heavy, not in a clever, fast paced Nancy Meyer's film way, this is more ex-positional, soliloquy.
Oh well, at least we get to see Douglas again this summer in the much anticipated sequel Wall Street Money Never Sleeps, were I'm sure once again dispicableness will be something we can root for!
After the film, I went to Olde City Asian Bistro. As mentioned in my previous post, PFS is recommending film-goers patronize this restaurant before and/or after a preview screening. It’s a Japanese restaurant, with upscale decor, as most establishments on Market Street in Olde City. The service last night was warm, inviting and at the same time professional.
I believe sitting at a Sushi Bar can be conducive to conversation with strangers; and if you knew the stranger to the left and/or right of you had also just screened the same film you just saw, that could create a sort of Cheers atmosphere for PFS film attendees!
This did not happen last night, but I benefited all the same – since I was the only patron from PFS, my entire meal was comped! And I received two fabulous complimentary dishes, I didn’t even order! A combo seaweed and shrimp mango salad. And a spicy tuna round, not a roll, topped with a flame charred mango chutney – both simply wonderful and summery!