Wednesday, April 7, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Directors: Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Writer: Brian Koppelman
Cast: Michael Douglas, Jenna Fischer, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Danny DeVito, Imogen Poots, Anastasia Griffith, Richard Schiff, Ben Shenkman et al.
Producers: Heidi Jo Markel, Paul Schiff and Steven Soderbergh
Executive Producers: Moshe Diamant, Danny Dimbort, Joe Gatta, Avi Lerner and Trevor Short
Co-producer: Jared Goldman
Original Music: Michael Penn
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Country of Origin: USA
Language: English
Genre: Family Drama

Even the star power in this film can't explain the illogical story of how a successful blue collar husband and father, when confronted with the fact that he needs further tests on his heart, never goes back to the doctor but instead throws his marriage and business away to wallow in sleaze and deceit.

Michael Douglas, as Ben, never develops his character so that this can be explained. As a result, it remains unexplained making it very difficult to believe his actions.

Having once appeared on the cover of Forbes, Ben has thrown his reputation and fortune away on a scam and become a skirt chaser of virtually anything wearing a skirt, although, the younger the better.

Ben appears to be making a comeback in the car sales industry but throws it all away for a one-night fling with the daughter of his influential girlfriend.

Angered and hurt, the girlfriend uses her family's influence to squelch the comeback deal and ruin Ben. Unable to get even a menial job in New York City, when his own daughter turns her back on him, Ben returns to Boston where his old college buddy hires him to help out in the family deli.

But a woman scorned is a dangerous person, and the ex-girlfriend ruins even his menial job sending a gold-shield retired police officer to beat him up and put him in the hospital.

While the story might be plausible with another actor, Michael Douglas is just too suave and charming to descend into obsolescence so quickly - abandoned by everyone he did business with, helped, and or financed.

Although, as we know, people love and tend to stick with winners, not losers. Ben is self-destructive but the question is how did he go from 54 years of success and motivation to a sudden descent into a skirt-chasing, non-rewarding, lonely existence?

When the movie ends the viewer doesn't feel happy because Ben has self-destructed. But the viewer is also dissatisfied with the answers supplied in the film.

Ben is the central character and Ben just isn't sufficiently explained which is why he isn't believable.