Nancy: I want a new life.I want to go skiing. I want to go dancing. I want to go to the beach. I want to ride through Muir on a motorcycle. All we ever do is see movies.
Allan: Yeah, well I write for a film magazine. They send me. Besides, I happen to like movies.
Nancy: You like movies because you’re one of life’s great watchers. I’m not like that. I’m a doer. I want to live. I want to participate. We never laugh together.
Allan: How can you say that? I don’t know about you, but I am constantly laughing. I chuckle, I giggle, I guffaw, occasionally.
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.