[box cover]

Carnal Knowledge

The esteemed genre of "getting laid" comedies is back in prolific vogue and, for better or worse, tends to stray toward the broad, crass Porky's mold. However, in what is possibly the dirty old grandfather of recent hits like American Pie, Carnal Knowledge director Mike Nichols takes a slightly more refined approach. College roommates Sandy (Art Garfunkel) and Mike (Jack Nicholson) both yearn to consummate their manhood in the puritanical milieu of the 1950s — a simple premise that most films are happy to explore for a full 90 minutes. But for screenwriter Jules Feiffer, that's only the beginning. It's easy, he asserts, for teenagers to get laid. It's much tougher for adults. And as Sandy and Mike age beyond their randy youths, their pursuit of tail takes them to sad, bitter, and searingly funny ends. The cast — including the unlikely but inspired use of Garfunkel — is great, with Candace Bergen, Ann-Margaret (all of her), Cynthia O'Neal, Carol Kane, and Rita Moreno as the equally depraved women these men try to nail. Nicholson given his best pre-Cuckoo's Nest performance. Nichols' fourth film, after his amazing debut streak of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Graduate, and Catch-22, was sadly his last to date with any edge or style. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and pan-and-scan, and a Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack. Trailer, keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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