1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Carnal Knowledge [DVD] (DVD)The story opens in the fifties, and Jonathan (Jack Nicholson) and Sandy (Arthur Garfunkle) are college freshmen with one thing on their minds. Jonathan is confident and cool; Sandy is timid and naive. Their deed-doing adventures soon begin but as we follow them over the next twenty years, we see they still haven't figured women out at all.
This movie was considered very risqué in 1971, and still retains some shock value from the gritty and passionless way the two men talk about and experience the opposite sex. Though Nicholson was in his thirties, he still pulls off being a giggling college freshman. As his character ages, he becomes the bitter and worldly-wise man he's played so often and so well. Garfunkle (then a wildly successful folk singer) was a good choice as the bumbling young man who needs his roommate's prodding to go all the way with his girl (a lovely, young Candice Bergen). Ann-Margret was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Jonathan's tarty, miserable lover.
I didn't like the movie much because of its unresolved episodic scenes and the callous approach to what women would call "romance." Although I can see its place in movie history as a barrier-breaking, in-your-face film about things people didn't really talk about back then, it still left me feeling sad and empty.