Andrew, I agree with you about avoiding The Shining, and with Barbara about seeing Chinatown. Faye Dunaway is at her very best in that too, and I also think that Jerry Goldsmith's music (written in 10 days when the producer threw out a previous score) has a lot to do with how memorable the movie is.

No argument about The King of Marvin Gardens, and my condolences for sitting through it. (I think of it as pretty obscure now; how did you come across it?) Coincidentally, I just yesterday bumped into Pauline Kael's withering remark that "when [Nicholson] tried to give a quiet performance in The King of Marvin Gardens, he was so self-effacingly serious that he was a dead spot on the screen." Nicholson also directed a handful of films, but I can't in good conscience recommend any of them as a pleasurable experience.

Barbara, Patton Oswalt seems to have a following, though I myself am unfamiliar with his stand-up work. He turns up on TV fairly often, it seems, and has had recurring roles on a couple of sitcoms. And he provided the voice for the main character in the animated Ratatouille.