Most single girls have met a Ben Kalmen sometime in their dating life. Yeap…of this I am pretty pretty sure…and anyone who dedicated her life to dating like I did…must have then crossed paths with more than one Ben… As long as we are sharing…I’ll gladly admit meeting my first Ben Kalmen when my friend Michelle’s dad, Jerry, hit on me at some graduation festivity. But he was only the first one…I think I met a Ben every year…and these memories were buried until I sat at a screening of ‘A Solitary Man’.
This Ben Kalman is a sixty-year old New Yorker who has been more successful than he deserved to be. A former BMW car dealer, he experienced all the sweetness of success, fame and fortune. That is, until six years ago, when some health news drove him from one decision to a worse one and then some. This man is still a child…and a reckless child at that. His former wife (the always terrific Susan Sarandon), his daughter (an uneven Jenna Fischer), his old friend at the diner (the always enjoyable Danny Devito), his girlfriend (a spot on Upper East Sider Mary Louise Parker), his banker (Richard Schiff), his new mentee (Jesse Eisenberg) all surround this unworthy solitary man. Not that he cares…or notices. He lives for the moment…and just like a teenager…he thinks he is invincible. And what does he have to show for it? Less and less as the movie goes… This is a round trip rags to riches to rags voyage.
So what happens when you are on the ultimate path of self-destruction? Arriba Arriba Arriba…apparently, mucho… Banned from the car industry? No problem. A girl’s father can fix that problem… Horny while on a trip to Boston? Snap your fingers and a certain teenager will do the honors. Looking for a little Friday night party? There is a keg party nearby with plenty of T & A. In need of a little cash? Just shake down your own daughter. Life cannot get better.