Played by The Office's Jenna Fischer in a performance that was a revelation, Susan doesn't hold any grudge about the divorce or dad's highly publicized fall. Unfortunately, while the themes are strongly driven throughout thefilm, the story itself looks more like a series of anecdotes, some ofwhich are not stringed in the most elegant way. Will he commit suicide, die of natural causes, or be saved? The very best moments involve Ben and Allyson; don't miss them. Unfortunately, this willalso make it hard for some people to relate to the subject, unless theyhave contemplated those situations themselves. How does he manage that? Spectrum Culture's review is pretty spot-on www. Ben is divorced from his wife, Nancy Susan Sarandon in a luscious cameo ; living with a rich younger woman, Jordan Mary-Louise Parker and her daughter, Allyson, the very talented Imogen Poots ; trying to get a new car dealership approved by the local city council; and chasing women successfully all over the Boroughs.
And then over the weekend he gets her drunk and seduces her. It's hard to imagine these names as supporting cast members but Douglas is joined by Mary Louise Parker, Danny Devito, Jesse Eisenberg, Susan Sarandon, and Jenna Fischer. That would be fine if he was going to work for the university he was a major donor when his businesses were at their peak. But it's alsotrue that they don't have all that much to do. Not the very very end, which I liked, but the place Douglas' character was left. These wonderful actors could have been used to a greater extent and I found myself wanting more ensemble interaction, but kudos to all for being willing to take a back seat to Douglas.
And that is something, that even though he should be hated in this, makes him still kinda likable. There is a moment, in the beginning, when we feel Ben has it all together, has all the answers, but then we discover we were wrong. But see it for yourself. Just a bit of a surprise. Along with Douglas, the movie stars Mary-Louise Parker, Imogen Poots, Danny DeVito, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jenna Fisher. He also gets reacquainted with his college buddy, Jimmy Merino Danny DeVito with whom Douglas has done countless films and with whom he roomed as a young thespian , an underachieving good guy who never left the college town and who owns a small café near campus.
The film doesn't show any of the inciting events that made the Douglas character who he is, except for one scene with a girlfriend's daughter, instead everything is talked about. That'sright when he accompanies Allyson away on a college trip he beds this18 year old. Will his heart give way before that? When the action begins he's pushed by his very wealthy girlfriend Jordan Parker to take her daughter Allyson Imogen Poots up to his alma mater for an admissions interview. He's chosen his current girlfriend, Jordan, because her father can help him get a new auto dealership; she's asked him to escort her daughter, Allyson, 18, on a visit to a Boston college campus. Douglas' thrusting intonations here become the embodiment of the once successful car salesman. It is very much Douglas at his aging best.
He's chosen his current girlfriend, Jordan, because her father can help him get a new auto dealership; she's asked him to escort her daughter, Allyson, 18, on a visit to a Boston college campus. When he hits rock bottom, will anyone be there? It's a drama with slight comedic elements. With both young people Ben indulges a penchant for playing the worldly-wise sex adviser. But Douglas' reason for being such a cock is shallow, unbelievable and not worth waiting until the final minutes to uncover. His ability to love and behave badlysimultaneously? Still you accept the hardways and see some people don't want to change their ways only you asthe viewer root for redemption for complex characters like Ben Kalmen. The settings don't really matter too much they're pretty generic , and the excellent cast, which includes Susan Sarandon, Sarah Louise Parker, Danny De Vito, and Jesse Eisenberg, is a little too familiar.
Played by The Office's Jenna Fischer in a performance that was a revelation, Susan doesn't hold any grudge about the divorce or dad's highly publicized fall. Even his only good relationship - with his married daughter, Susan, who loves her dad, listens to his problems and helps where she can — begins to decay. There are hints and other things, but it might leave quite a few things open, that most viewers would like an answer to. This isn't a ground-breaking story, but it's certainly watchable and occasionally emotionally involving. But I was a little surprised to learn that Levien stepped-aside and let Koppleman do most of the writing. Co-writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien direct their first major movie after having penned films like Rounders, Runaway Jury, and Ocean's Thirteen all favorites of mine , and they do so with aplomb. He is also broke and divorced.
You would think he had already learned a big one. Ben is divorced from his wife, Nancy Susan Sarandon in a luscious cameo ; living with a rich younger woman, Jordan Mary-Louise Parker and her daughter, Allyson, the very talented Imogen Poots ; trying to get a new car dealership approved by the local city council; and chasing women successfully all over the Boroughs. Even his only good relationship - with his married daughter, Susan, who loves her dad, listens to his problems and helps where she can — begins to decay. But none of that matters because Douglas is so good. His current girlfriend, who apparently knows something of and tolerateshis loose standards, presses him to go with her daughter to a collegeadmission interview over a weekend out of town. This was a great job by Douglas so much so that I felt his pain when he reflected from time to time. The direction and writing, by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, takes abittersweet approach to this story, chronicling the events whileelegantly letting us decide what we think of Ben.
Here, the film hits its stride. A man deals with impending mortality by not dealing with it at all. That is, we areconstantly told we deserve it all, we deserve it now and we deserve itforever. But the plot has him going back to his old campus with his tail between his legs. In short, it's one of the best performances of Michael Douglas' career. Is there anywhere he can turn? In this respect, Ifelt they were honest and not manipulative. But what could have been a satisfying on-campus subplot seemed to be where the movie ground to a halt, and ended up being as awkward and aloof as Eisenberg's character.
Clearly Ben is trying to live his teenageyears all over. Let's just say the story evolves from here with Ben's life spiraling downhill, all of his own doing. But I fear that Koppleman and Levien set a high bar that they could not reach half of the time in this film. This is an exceptional, if depressing, independent film that shows that Douglas can still act, entice, entertain, and engage. But it's also true that they don't have all that much to do.