This is such a fantastic film. It would be an interesting companion piece to another Nicholson film from the era – Mike Nichol‘s 1971 film Carnal Knowledge. Both films are sort of America’s answer to Britain’s “Angry Young Man/Kitchen Sink” dramas from a decade earlier. There are probably earlier films that fit that bill as well. What’s interesting to me is that they take a look at a new sort of angst that rose out of the sixties and has never really left – an angst that found its roots in the emerging teenager of the 50s (more on that in a bit). This is definitely one of Nicholson’s best performances and a must for any fan. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, though it didn’t win any: Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Karen Black, Best Actor Jack Nicholson, Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Airport, Love Story, MASH and winner Patton.
Bobby: I’d like a plain omelet, no potatoes – tomatoes instead, a cup of coffee and toast.
Waitress: No substitutions.
Bobby: What do you mean, you don’t have any tomatoes?
Waitress: Only what’s on the menu. You can have a #2 – a plain omelet, comes with cottage fries and rolls.
Bobby: Yeah, I know what it comes with, but it’s not what I want.
Waitress: I’ll come back when you make up your mind.
Bobby: Wait a minute, I have made up my mind. I’d like a plain omelet, no potatoes on the plate, a cup of coffee and a side order of wheat toast.
Waitress: I’m sorry, we don’t have any side orders of toast. I can bring you an english muffin or a coffee roll.
Bobby: What do you mean you don’t make side orders of toast? You make sandwiches, don’t you?
Waitress: Would you like to talk to the manager?
Bobby: You’ve got bread and a toaster of some kind?
Waitress: I don’t make the rules.
Bobby: Okay, I’ll make it as easy for you as I can. I’d like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce and a cup of coffee.
Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?
Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules.
Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.