The film traces the sexual and emotional confusion of two men from their Amherst College days in the fifties through the Kennedy sixties, up to the Vietnam era. Jonathan, a successful tax ... See full summary »
The film traces the sexual and emotional confusion of two men from their Amherst College days in the fifties through the Kennedy sixties, up to the Vietnam era. Jonathan, a successful tax attorney and Sandy, a physician, personify two extremes of self-delusion and self-aggrandizement: Jonathan makes the mistake of thinking sex is love, and embarks on a lifetime of sexual conquest; Sandy dedicates himself to the pursuit of an idealized woman and the dreamy spiritual completeness to be found therein. In Bobbie Jonathan finds a partner whose masochism compliments his selfishness and emotional ambivalence. Jonathan does not want her to hold a job, but neither does he like the fact that she spends all day in bed sleeping, or watching TV. Sandy falls in love with his first college romance, Susan; they marry and have children. But Sandy is haunted by the fear that he was too hasty, even though he and Susan lead a happy domestic life and strive to reinvigorate their sex life by making love "... Written by
After working with Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider, Karen Black went to Mike Nichols, on recommendation from Jack, to test for the role of Bobbie. It was mutually decided that Karen did not have the right figure for the role. See more »
If you had a choice...
Would you rather love a girl, or have her love you?
I want it mutual.
I mean if you couldn't have it mutual.
You mean would I rather be the one who loves, or is loved?
It's not that easy a question. But, I think I'd rather be in love.
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This movie is one of the most accurate reflections of the sixties' sexual revolution, as well as perennial sexual ambiguity throughout someone's entire adult existence! It's about knowing that there are no strings attached, and that it is, in fact, just sexual intercourse and nothing else!! All is fine and good except one thing....YOU GOT MARRIED!!!!...Now enters the commitment, or shall I say, lack of it...There is a cynical outlook on each other.....The verbal abuse that is the end result of a relationship that has nothing but sex to offer, serves as an acrimonious aftermath to everyone's insincerity!! Some people (Ann Margaret) give up in life....Some people (Art Garfunkel) get resentful and searching...And others (Such as Jack Nicholson) remain misunderstood even to himself!! The college day's fiasco with Candace Bergen (Between Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel) should have served as a harbinger of things to come!! Instead, the hedonistic challenge casual sex provided for everybody, not only made people oblivious to the negative emotional battleground casual sex had the potential for presenting, but it established a pattern of recklessness for everybody's self centered priorities!! The prestige of being a Central Park West intellectual evokes an aura of false confidence, and it is evident that New York City merely spreads out the welcome mat for adversity before most any place else!! All of these theatrics simply translate to callous gratification! This is a film where people talk to one another, but it doesn't work out......So they have sex, they know they will grow tired of it, but when this occurs, they can't accept it either!!! Popular scapegoats seem to be; confusion, idealistic notions which have turned to blatant misconceptions, a distasteful awakening with selfishness, and disgruntled generalizations that "Women are all ball-busters!!" (Not just independent!!) It becomes a living nightmare for all of the characters concerned to distinguish between casual sex, and apathetic hobby!!! All of them are isolated by the negative consequences of casual sex!!! Jack Nicholson's condescension from a sex surrogate (Rita Moreno) denounces meagerness, and thus, becomes a form of precarious vindication which will give the movie audience a thorough comprehension of the type of person Jack Nicholson's character is, and always will be too!! Mike Nichols is a fabulous director, and this film is compelling in it's ability to tell the truth!!! The camera angles in this movie are spectacular! This film is very controversial for the time it was made because it brought to the attention of the movie viewer that the erroneous perceptions about recreational sex, and the truth about recreational sex are about as compatible a mixture as oil and water!! Nobody in this movie had any compunction about throwing necessary caution to the wind! The depiction of such people in "Carnal Knowledge" was very astute! Above all else with regards to this film, recognize the amazing array of talent this movie possesses!!
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