Two of Jack Nicholson's best ever tantrum scenes
If you've seen this movie, you probably know what I'm talking about. There's one scene in which Nicholson REALLY doesn't want to invite his ditsy girlfriend (Karen Black) to come along to the family home to visit his dying father - and when he realizes he can't get out of it, he sits in his car and comes unglued. Then he get out, goes back inside and very calmly says, "Rayette, you wanna come with me?"
The other one is in a roadside café when the laconic waitress won't alter the menu selections by one jot - and again he comes unglued as only Nicholson can do when he's at the top of his performance, which he usually is.
But the rest of this movie is dark, dark, dark - a mood piece of a dysfunctional family. Nicholson plays a wounded outcast, a former piano prodigy who has been estranged from his father for years, spending his time as an oil worker in Texas, shacking up with his annoying girlfriend. When he learns his father is dying in Washington State, he sets off for 'home.' Most of the rest of the film is an odyssey, a road trip back to the family mansion and all he's left behind: his attachments, his family, his problems, his fears, and his failures.
Five Easy Pieces became a classic almost as soon as it was released. Don't miss it.