Jack Nicholson Retirement Rumors Debunked

By Katey Rich 2013-09-04 13:39:42discussion comments
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Gene Hackman is still somewhere in the middle of America allowing Welcome to Mooseport to be his final film, and Steven Soderbergh still hasn't emerged to tell us his retirement plans were a terrible mistake, but there's at least one legend who isn't going anywhere any time soon. Despite rumors that surfaced today about his imminent retirement, Jack Nicholson is reportedly keeping up his intermittent acting career, according to E!. They got Maria Shriver, of all the random people in the world, to debunk a rumor from Radar Online that Nicholson was retiring from acting after memory problems made it too difficult for him to memorize lines.

The notion that being unable to remember your lines could keep an acting legend away from the screen seemed pretty silly to begin with-- Marlon Brando had poor Robert Duvall hold up cue cards for him while filming The Godfather, for God's sake. And it's not likely Nicholson has been exclusively taking on meaty, dialogue-heavy roles lately. His last screen appearance was in How Do You Know, from his Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News director James L. Brooks; when I reviewed How Do You Know. I called Nicholson's performance "hammy and utterly worthless," and it was very clear he was in the film largely to do a favor for a friend. Nicholson's an acting titan, obviously, but his last interesting screen performance was in 2006's The Departed. If he needs cue cards to make the next The Bucket List he'll damn well get them.

Now, if Nicholson really wants to prove these rumors are false, will he finally buckle down and actually make a movie that's better than The Bucket List or How Do You Know? His work in About Schmidt a decade ago was a promising sign that he was still willing to dig deep and show us a new side of himself onscreen, but the results since then haven't been all that promising-- The Departed was good, sure, but that was not a new Jack Nicholson we were seeing in that film. No matter how many more bad movies he makes Nicholson's legend is very much still secure, but is it so wrong to hope that this rumor could shake him out of that comfort zone a little bit? Don't let How Do You Know be your Welcome To Mooseport, Jack! Show us what else you've got, cue cards or not.
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