At OpenSalon, a review of the extremely underrated 2008 movie "Solitary Man", a poignant look at the alpha male reaching the end of middle-age:
The 2008 movie “Solitary Man” is the natural culmination of Michael Douglas’ career. Playing the same type of oily alpha male he perfected in “Wall Street”, he’s hanging on desperately to middle age, facing his own mortality and dealing with the consequences of the “greed is good” mentality.
But the same character traits that had pushed him to the top end up driving him all the way to the bottom. If he sees something that he wants, he goes after it confidently, consequences be damned. As his daughter tells him when pressing him for an explanation for his behavior: “Never mind, I don’t want to hear it. You’re just going to tell me what you think I need to hear and then go ahead and do whatever you want anyways.”
In “Solitary Man”, reaching the trappings of success – the women, money and fame – means throwing away everything else in your life. And in the wake of the collapse of the financial system and the self-aggrandizing philosophy behind it, it’s a timely message for the innumerable number of young Gordon Gekkos out there. Yet while the movie closes on an ambiguous tone, Kalmen leaves the impression that it was all worth it, and he’d make the same choices over again.