Rachel Samstat: You probably think it’s very bourgeois to cook for somebody on the first date. You probably think I do this for everybody.
Mark Forman: Rachel, I love this. When we’re married, I want this once a week.
Rachel Samstat: I’m never getting married again. I don’t believe in marriage.
Mark Forman: Neither do I.
This is one of those movies that I have seen so many times I don’t have an accurate count. It’s also one that I mostly watched edited on television, so when I watched it for the first time on DVD there were so many things that had either been cut out for time or censored for content; it was shocking. Moral of the story: make sure you watch this movie on DVD. My mother and I always joke about how if this movie is on television, no matter what we are doing, we will leave it on because we just have to see that ending scene. It’s definitely one of the greatest endings in film history. A Few Good Men was nominated for four Academy Awards, though it failed to win any: Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor Jack Nicholson and Best Picture. Rob Reiner failed to receive a Best Director nomination despite the Best Picture nod. His place went to Robert Altman for The Player, which failed to receive a Best Picture nomination. Always strange when that happens. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: The Crying Game, Howard’s End, Scent of a Woman and winner Unforgiven.
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.