Pay close attention to CARNAL KNOWLEDGE. It hides surreal delights in plain sight. Dream girl Candice Bergen literally emerges out of a pool of blackness, walking right past Garfunkel and Nicholson who, I suspect, play the same person. Both scheme to take her; but soon as they do, neither one is satisfied. And so this pattern repeats—as their insatiable appetite for 'perfection' gobbles up more feminine archetypes.
A film so real it literally hurts. Ebert wrote: ""Carnal Knowledge" is clearly Mike Nichols' best film. It sets out to tell us certain things about these few characters and their sexual crucifixions, and it succeeds. It doesn't go for cheap or facile laughs, or inappropriate symbolism, or a phony kind of contemporary feeling."
It's certainly not a pretty portrait of masculine ideals of sexual relationships, but it damn sure is compelling cinema with some deep things to say. It's mature, frank and honest in its examination of sex, without getting needlessly explicit. The writing is extremely smart, as is Nichols' direction. I also think it features one of Nicholson's greatest performances ever, and Bergen is fantastic as well.
You have 2 sleazeballs trying to score with chicks over a span of about 25 years of their lives. Neither of these jerks are likeable or worth rooting for, but they are so inept at love (and life) that it's quite intriguing to watch them fail. Over and over again. Fortunately the movie is a little longer than 90 minutes, so it's not too much of a bad thing. But it's just enough of a bad thing to keep me interested.
Unusual film, worth seeing for the novelty. Following the love life of two male roomates from college virgins to middle age: their love life doesn't develop well. The men are neither glamourous nor grotesque: as they grow older, the two men remain friends and exchange crude locker room esque banter about wanting to be in control of their girlfriends, erection difficulties, boredom in marriage, etc.
Pretty much a thematic successor to "The Graduate" and an essential watch for fans of American cinema. The story is simple but thought provoking - a tale of how two opposite personality archetypes deal with sex both inside and outside the bounds of typical relationships. Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson are both great in this movie - Mark Nichols really knows how to get the best out of his actors.
I am still deeply moved by the work of Mike Nichols even though I can respect why his fixation on male angst might not resonate with a younger generation. Having come of age during the 1970s, much of what this film provokes in me is, no doubt, due to an identification with that era. It was a time when sex, gender, race and class were changing in very profound ways. Growing up in that shifting sand was no easy affair.
Jack Nicholson's best performance. Like three Chekhov stories. Back to back to ass. The scene where Nicholson walks Garfunkel and his new girlfriend through a slideshow of his sexual history-- he breezes past a picture of Candice Bergen, "That was a mistake..." A dark delight!