Michael Douglas plays an old dog performing familiar tricks in Solitary Man, a rote saga about a 60-year-old playboy tumbling, fast and hard, toward change-of-heart epiphanies. Douglas is Ben, a New York car dealer mogul who, after learning that he may have a serious heart condition, embraces a carpe diem ethos by detonating his marriage and career for an unrepentant lothario lifestyle. This leads him to have an affair with the 18-year-old daughter (Imogen Poots) of his wealthy new girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker), which ruins his final shot at a business comeback, as well as to other amorous encounters that further estrange him from his daughter (Jenna Fischer) and beloved grandson. As envisioned by co-directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien, Ben is at once a man-child incapable of growing up and a self-destructive fool unable to put others’ interests ahead of his own. In other words, he’s a walking, talking cinematic cliché, albeit one enlivened by Douglas, whose performance, while a bit heavy on emotive hand-gesturing, is defined by the lively, wild glint in his eyes, which reveals his self-awareness of the downward path upon which his reckless protagonist has embarked. Strong supporting turns abound (from, among others, Susan Sarandon as Ben’s ex), but Koppelman’s script is awash in phony scenarios, none more so than Ben’s friendship with a college student (Jesse Eisenberg) that, like his reunion with an old pal (Danny DeVito), reeks of message-imparting contrivance. A final indecisive note supposedly leaves Ben’s maturation in question, yet like too much of this one-man-show character study, the ambiguity isn’t sincere but, instead, merely a pose struck to mask the proceedings’ life-lessons-learned conventionality.