Tony Mastroianni Review Collection
Basketball Film Fails to Score
Cleveland Press September 24, 1971
"Drive, He Said" is another tale, poorly told, of youthful disenchantment. The real disenchantment will be among audiences -- even those responsive to the picture's message -- because of the film's chaotic, undefined style.
The picture is notable because it was directed by actor Jack Nicholson of "Five Easy Pieces" and "Carnal Knowledge" fame. Nicholson clearly indicates that he better stick to acting.
The movie is about a couple of college students. One, William Tepper, is the school's star basketball player. Everything is going for him -- he's winning, he has offers to turn pro at vast sums of money and he is bedding down with Karen Black, wife of his favorite professor.
The other, Michael Margotta, is a militant who fakes to freaking out occasionally especially as the draft gets closer and closer.
Why the basketball player should become disenchanted is never clear but he does and he moons about and is just generally miserable. The other, trying to beat the draft, freaks out too far and when last seen is dashing about the campus in the buff, emptying biology lab cages of all the animals.
Just before that he tries to murder Miss Black while she's taking a bath but everyone just laughs that off.
Director Nicholson fails to zero in on any of his characters to the point where we understand them or even care about them.
The basketball sequences are good but if that's what you want, wait until the season starts and go to a few games. The picture has a vast amount of male nudity which I doubt sells tickets.
Like the movies Nicholson has acted in, director Nicholson's movie is another one that says life is a pile of manure. So what's new?
The French film, "Harvest," directed by Pagnol, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Art Museum. Event is free, but museum members get first seating.