“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Director: James L. Brooks / Actors: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt ... / DVD released 20 May, 1998 at Columbia TriStar / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC „
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As Good As It Gets, directed by James L. Brooks and first released in 1997, is an interesting take on your classic romantic comedy movie. Having seen it many times, it never fails to keep my interest, which is due in the most part to wonderful acting performances and an interesting, funny, yet moving story line.
As Good As It Gets actors Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall and Helen Hunt as Carol Connelly, both won Academy Awards, for Best Actor and Best Actress and the film is one of the most recent where both actors in a leading role won their acting categories. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture.
Nicholsons character Melvin, is an interesting man, that you don't want to warm to at all. Melvin seems at first to be just a rude mannered, sharp tempered, anti semitic, racist, homophobic with an obsessive compulsive disorder. This effects everything he does on a daily basis, yet he has found success as a best selling romance novelist, working from his New York home.
He finds relating to nearly everyone with whom he comes into contact difficult and is not at all popular with his neighbors in his Manhattan apartment building. Every day Melvin eats breakfast at the same table, in the same restaurant, taking with him a fresh set of disposable plastic cutlery as he is 150% germophobic.
Helen Hunts character Caroll Conelly is a struggling single mum to a young lad. She is the only waitress at the restaurant that Melvin will allow to serve him and due to his demanding/ rude behavior you really feel for her because of this.
One day Melvin's neighbor, Simon Bishop, a gay artist played wonderfully by Greg Kinnear, is assaulted and Melvin is lumbered with the artist's dog Verdell while Simon is in the hospital. The arrival of Verdell springs a change in Melvin and you begin to empathise with him and begin to see how very difficult his day to day life is.
When Carol decides take time off to care for her asthmatic son, Melvin albeit for his own selfish OCD related reasons, arranges to pay for her son's medical expenses and an odd relationship ensues.
Simon loses his artists mojo and faces eviction from his apartment due to lack of income. With no medical insurance and mounting hospital bills looming he is persuaded that he should go to Baltimore and ask his estranged parents for money. Melvin lands the job as driver for the trip, so craftily invites Caroll along seeing it as a great way of getting closer to her.
More and more throughout the film you begin to see how much Melvin is trying to change his ways, even though both Caroll and Simon seem oblivious to his efforts. This is when you really do begin to see the softer vulnerable side to Melvin, which makes you like him in an odd kind of way.
There is a scene in the film, where the connection between Caroll and Melvin is so very intense, both wanting more from each other yet unable to make things work. So Melvin, struggling to put his feelings into words, manages to tell Caroll that she makes him want to be a better man!
At this point in the film he had won me over completely and I really wanted Caroll to see how very hard he was trying to over come his problems. The film is a great twist on the romantic comedy genre and one of the best I have seen so far, so its without hesitation that I give the film 5 stars.
DVD Release Date: 22 Sep 2008
Run Time: 133 minutes
When you look at Jack Nicholson's list of starring roles, he doesn't go all out for quantity. There are actually not a lot of roles he has given over the past 15 years or so. One, though, stands out for me above the rest, that of his portrayal of obsessive compulsive Melvin in this brilliant 1997 film. He won an Oscar for the performance, and deservedly so.
His obsession comes to us first as we see him as a regular customer in a restaurant. Not short of a bob or two, he insists on the same waitress every day. This turns out to be single mum, Carol (Helen Hunt), who has a testing time at home without Melvin's quirks to deal with as well. Her son has an aggressive form of asthma that means constant trips to inept doctors and medical bills that are next to unpayable.
Add into the mix Melvin's gay neighbour Simon (Greg Kinnear) and his flamboyant friend Frank (Cuba Gooding Jr) and you have a motley mix of characters who need to find solace and companionship in each other, even if they do drive each other mad! The combination of Hunt and Nicholson is perhaps the best, with her completely misunderstanding him and him not being able to realise just how annoying his obsessions can become.
Nicholson is fantastic as Melvin, the mutterings and motions he goes through as someone with OCD practised to the limit, and as he goes through the film, it's the facial expressions that add to it, and the inane grin that only Nicholson can perfect. His performance is mesmerisingly controlled. I was very impressed, and he definitely deserved the Oscar. He receives great support from the rest of the cast, with Kinnear being particularly funny and Hunt as the panicking neurotic mother very convincing indeed.
The plot itself is very good, as it shows how these people come together with varying degrees of success. There are some funny scenes where Melvin, who manages to annoy and alienate every human, befriends Simon's pet dog while Simon himself is in hospital recovering from being attacked. It shows that, despite everyone's annoyance with Melvin, it's mainly because of the insensitivity his character exudes with his words, and not his actions, which are actually very kind on the whole.
It's really about the relationship between Melvin and Carol, though, as they both go through the film with great interaction. What starts off with a completely unlikely pairing develops into a friendship, and despite numerous disgusting moments from Nicholson, and expressions of the disgust from Hunt, you get the feeling that nothing is impossible, and this strange and quirky plot could let something else develop, along with Melvin's obsession for having Carol as a waitress. Elements such as bringing his own plastic disposable cutlery, not walking on cracks, and tapping the floor on both sides of his slippers before putting them on, are just a few example of the habits that are merely a sign of Melvin's condition, and on the whole they are extremely annoying. I don't know how the characters would actually have put up with it in reality.
Overall, this is a lovely and heart warming tale of one man's endeavours to just make friends, do the right thing, and deal with his condition. It coincides with a single mum whose son is frequently in need of hospital treatment to produce a genuinely enjoyable and funny film. It's not the best film I have ever seen, nor is it the best romantic comedy I have seen (yes, it definitely belongs in this category). However, Nicholson is fabulous, and it's the sort of film that has enough situational comedy and one liners that you could really watch it a number of times and still find yourself enjoying it.
As Good As It Gets is available for really good prices from amazon among other places. It's the sort of film that turns up on TV quite a bit, so it may be worth catching it when you see it on. Either way, it's a very good film, and highly enjoyable. Recommended.
'As good as it gets' is a 1997 comedy starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear. It focuses on these three main characters and how they change each others lives.
Melvin (Nicholson) is a bestselling romance novelist who has a few personality problems, mainly that he doesn't like any other human being which makes him a racist, homophobic bigot and he doesn't hold back in telling people exactly what he thinks of them without any feelings of how they would feel about his insult. He has a set of ways that he must do in certain ways at certain times which also makes him an obsessive compulsive. This shows when he has to eat his breakfast at the same time, at the same table and he doesn't care if someone is sitting at his table he will insult them until they get up and move in disgust! He takes plastic cutlery to eat with as he also suffers from the fear of germs and contamination, this also shows when he doesn't even like people touching him. So all in all he doesn't really have much going for him but this could be because he lives solely in his apartment writing his novels in total isolation making his anti-social behaviour worse.
Carol (Hunt) is the waitress at the restaurant where he frequents daily and the one that serves him due to everyone else disliking his rudeness. He has even been banned from the restaurant on many occasions because of the insults to other customers. Somehow Carol puts up with him until one day he makes a comment about her sick son and she flips at him, he reluctantly has to apologise and say he will not make a nasty comment again about her son or she will not serve him anymore. Carol is constantly going back and forth to the hospital as her son suffers from severe asthma and so she can spend more time with her son she quits her job to get a job closer to home
Simon is the gay artistic neighbour with the cutest dog ever. His manager finds a model off the street for him to pose so he can draw him and after a few days, and the project is coming to an end, the model gets his friends into the apartment to steal from him whilst he distracts him but Simon needs to let the dog out and confronts the thieves who brutally assault him and he ends up in hospital.
There is also Frank (Cuba Gooding Jr) who is Simon's friend/agent and who also takes no rubbish from Melvin. He is hilarious in his attempt to get at Melvin and also vice versa, at one point Frank has a go at him and Melvin shouts for the police that he is getting attacked by a black man!
The three are drawn together due to certain circumstances - Melvin has been left to look after Simon's dog and whilst he is absolutely appalled by it he eventually grows to love the dog and vice versa, the dog prefers Melvin to Simon. When Melvin goes in to have his normal daily breakfast and finds that Carol has resigned he tracks her down and asks her to return. He then pays for her sons medical fees so she can return to work to serve him, whilst she is a proud person and doesn't want to accept it she then travels across town in the middle of the night to tell him that she will not on any circumstances sleep with him because of this!
When Simon is found to be broke and cannot afford the $61,000 medical bill as he has no medical insurance he is forced to go and see his parents to ask them for money, he begrudgingly has to have Melvin drive him to Baltimore to see them. Melvin then asks Carol to come along so the trip won't be as awkward and the trio then drive and we follow how the relationship walls come down and they develop a friendship.
I love this film, I think the witty comments that Nicholson comes out with are hilarious at times. His unusual behaviour is amusing and even the dog starts to copy him by not walking on the cracks on the pavement. The dog is a great little actor!
Some of the witty lines in the movie:
'How do you write women so well?' Melvin 'I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.'
'What happened to your queer party-friends'
'You're a disgrace to depression'
Melvin to Simon 'No need to stop being a lady. Quit worrying! You'll be back on your knees in no time!'
Melvin to the Jews at his table 'How much more you got to eat? Appetites aren't as big as your noses, huh?'
I think Nicholson is cast great in this movie, you almost feel that he could be like this in real life, he does complaining TOO well! He has that certain edginess to pull this character off. He did win an Oscar for best actor in this movie and well deserved I say. Some of the things that he says to people are cringe worthy and maybe in this day and age we might not be able to get away with putting some of the things into a film! He really doesn't care what he says to anyone.
Hunt is also another great casting who doesn't take any nonsense from Nicholson's character and she also won best actress. As she is the only one who can tolerate his rudeness you actually feel him warming to her.
Cuba as Frank is also funny, you often wonder if he is going to totally lose it with Melvin. He is Simon's protector and although comes across as very camp he is also like a ticking time bomb.
Some of the insults can be close to the mark if you are easily offended, I just thought they were comical and showing his annoyance at anyone not like him.
There is one thing I always find when I watch Nicholson now though, I can't stop seeing him as the joker in Batman!
Overall this is a film to show how you can never really know someone until you make the effort to see what they are really like rather than the misconception of what you think they are like. Melvin has ideas of how people are who are different to your normal human being and it takes you through how he could actually like them if he found out more about them. And also the people around him and the ideas they have of him can change too. I suppose you could say it's like Beauty and the beast.
As Good as it Gets is a brilliant film, it also happens to be most likely one of the best lines in a film ever...when Jack Nicholsons character tells a group of depressed people in the waiting room, 'what if this is as good as it gets?'
The oscar winning cast certainly makes this film, Greg Kinnear, Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt are a brilliant trio.
We ended up watching this as part of my Psychology class, as others were talking I sat there watching a brilliant film, one which is vastly overlook when in a list of films with Jack Nicholson.
The plot isn't spectacular, the acting is and as the film goes on the characters increase in stature and whilst an unspectacular film, it gives us all hope that we can improve in any way that we want to as Nicholsons character starts to come to one with his condition and help himself rather than expect others to help him and understand.
Is it a classic, it's not one that will be on a list of best films, it's certainly a film worth watching and keeping on the shelf for a rainy night.
A best seller author, Melvin Udall is a harsh, rude, person who has an obsessive compulsive behavior in his life. People hates him, and want to get rid of him. His neighbor hates him, his publisher hates him, even the people at the diner where he usually eats hates him because of his bad attitude. The only person that can stand with the behavior is the waitress in the diner and a dog that's been placed in his place for a while. His life is just like that until he has to leave his obsessive compulsiveness for a girl that he fell to.
This is a hilarious movie that can makes you laugh and melt for the same time. Jack Nicholson always able to make the different situation for every of his movie. I like this movie because of the acting of Jack Nicholson which really impressive as someone who has an obsessive compulsive disorder. He makes a good couple with Helen Hunt this time, and makes this movie even more better.
This one of the best comedies I have seen and possibly my favourite Jack Nicholson film. However I wouldn't really class this as a rom com movie though there is that side to the film there is so much more to it and this is what I love about it. You will feel every single emotion that a film can possibly muster up in the 133 minutes it lasts for.
Those who don't like this film really don't get the humour and that is a real shame because it's wonderfully funny.
Jack Nicholson plays the role of an OCD sufferer who really makes everyone's life around him hell. He is rude to the point, which makes you want to slap him, and yet as he is drawn into a neighbour's life (Greg Kinnear) and he begins to show tiny sparks of humanity. Helen Hunt's role in the film is as a waitress and the only waitress that Jack Nicholson wants to be served by and this is where there strange relationship begins.
As you watch this film you will find the performances so fascinating and so well acted that it's no wonder both Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson received Oscars for there roles. This film is a real treat and I would highly recommend it to all.
This is an amazing film, jack nicholason plays the main character, and Helen Hunt plays the leading lady. This film, is full of quirky jokes, and Jack Nicholson, plays the part to perfection.
The plot all revolves around Jack Nicholasons character, who has OCD, he cant step on cracks, has to touch things a certain amount of times, and this has clearly dominated his life. It all changes, when Greg Kinears character, who lives in the apartment next to him is brutally attacked, and Jack Nicholsons character is asked to look after his dog.
Although at first he hates the dog, he soon warms to him, and you really start to warm to the character. A love interest, in the form of Helen Hunt the strangely develops, and you cant be want the two to get together. This film is amazing, and I love watching it, all the characters are great and the film is very funny. Recommended, this is a top film.
The DVD doesn't blow you away, for instance limited extra features; directors commentary, trailer and various filmographies but who cares when the film can knock you over.
Jack Nicholson won an oscar for his role as Melvin Udall as did Helen Hunt for her role as Carol Connelly. The love/hate relationship that develops between these superb actors undoubtedly makes the film so good. Plot themes include Melvin's obsessive compulsive disorder, Carol dealing with her son's illness and Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear) bringing up homosexuality. Each role is acted beautifully but the two stars of the show have to be Jack Nicholson and the dog. Nicholson is insulting, disrespectful and brilliant at it. With memorable lines such as "sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here," (Jack Nicholson) Nicholson delivers comedy at its best. Nicholson is forced to transform his bitter ways when delegated a down-right adorable dog, which gradually, along with helping Carol's son's health develops someone who you can sit and watch over and over again.
James L. Brooks has distributed a classic that I propose needs owning on DVD. I would not advise for young audiences as there is strong language throughout and a scene of nudity and a scene of violence.
What a great Movie. I have watched this movie about 3 times and found that I might have started to get OCD too. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Its quiet scary to see how people do actualy live under such conditions. It brought a new light into a serious disorder by setting the movie on a subject that is often seen as being a bit freakish. If you want to know a little about why you wash your hands or clean you teeth so many times during the day to stay clean then you may have to watch this one.
This is one of the few films out there that managed to change my opinion about a movie star. I was never a big fan of Jack Nicholson, but after seeing this gem of a movie, I could appreciate the strength in his acting abilities. I remember well the first time that I saw As Good As It Gets. I saw it when it came out in the cinema and I left with a sore side from laughing so hard! I love the dark satirical humour in it and the softer sides of the characters, which they are trying so desperately to hide. So here?s my run down?. AS GOOD AS IT GETS ? THE CAST AND PLOT With such a strong and surprising cast, it was no wonder that this film was such a hit! The story begins with Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson). He is completely neurotic, homophobic, twisted?.not to mention all round nasty that goes to the bones?but we can?t blame him (well I could), as he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (and some loose connections from leading from his brain to his mouth), which he refuses to go and get treated. Strangely, he is a highly accomplished romantic novelist! Melvin walks out of an elevator just in time to catch his neighbours dog getting ready to do it?s business on his front doorstep! He hurls abuse at the poor animal and then hurls it down the garbage chute too! As he tries to slide into his apartment, his neighbour Simon (Greg Kinnear), the owner of the dog, sticks his head out and asks Melvin if he has seen him. Melvin being Melvin, hurls more abuse and bad jokes about Simon?s gayness before strutting back into his own apartment. Needless to say, I think Melvin feels very pleased with himself at this point. A little while later and Simon is back at his door demanding to know if he was the one who put his precious pooch down the garbage chute! The story moves on to Melvin?s next haunt of neuroses. Every day, Melvin goes to the same café (making sure not to step on any cracks in the pavement or allow people
to touch him, along the way) and orders the same food every time at the exact same table?even if someone happens to be sitting there first. Not only that, but no one can or wants to serve him except Carol (Helen Hunt). He harasses some customers until they move off of ?his? table and, naturally, gets threatened by the owner of the place that he will end up getting banned. Carol manages to smooth things over and starts taking his order, when once more Melvin and his monster nasty gob manages to insult Carol by making a nasty remark about her son. Once everything is has settled down, you see a glimpse of Melvin?s more sympathetic side trying to ebb it?s way out as he apologises and tries to find out what is wrong with Carol?s son. Carol begins trying to explain what is wrong when Melvin starts getting fidgety and looks like he was just asking to be polite (which is a word I don?t think is in his personal dictionary). One day Carol isn?t at work, which upsets him a great deal?so of course, of he sets out to find where she lives and eventually turns up on her doorstep. After somehow managing to talk his way into her apartment, he finds out more about her son, Spencer. After Melvin is kicked out for trying to teach Spencer how to be polite, he pulls in a few favours and pays for a top doctor to go and take care of him. Carol, understandably doesn?t quite know what to think about it all. The story then moves back to Simon, who is an aspiring artist. He is sketching a new young model (unbeknownst to him, he isn?t a model, just some punk off of the street) and is nearing completion of his painting. He stumbles across some ?associates? of the model, who just happen to have been let in by the lad to rob the place, who then beat him into a bloody pulp on the floor. Simon is hospitalised and is in a very bad way, both physically and mentally. Simon?s art dealer/agent Frank Sachs (Cuba Gooding Jr) tells Simon not to worry as he ha
s found a dog sitter for him?MELVIN! Melvin can?t quite believe he?s been left (without a say in the matter!) to look after Simon?s dog?but what distresses him a little more than that, is the fact that he finds that he quite likes the dog (eventually)! As a result of Simon?s hospitalisation and lack of medical insurance he is left destitute and penniless. His only hope is to travel cross-country to ask his estranged parents for some money. Melvin is again pushed into volunteering by Frank to drive Simon to his parents. Melvin goes along with it on the condition that Carol comes along to protect him! I won?t say any more than this, but the rest of the film delves deeper into the lives of each of the characters, their relationships with each other, and they also find out things about themselves that even they did not know! CHARACTERS AND MY OPINION Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) Just when you think you know Melvin, you realise that actually you don?t know that much about him. Yes, he is nasty, he definitely has quite a few screws loose, but he also has a very generous and warmth to him that would surprise anyone, Melvin is a novelist and works from home. He seems very determined to shut everyone out with his verbal diarrhoea.. Nicholson really did deserve winning an academy award for best actor for this film. He really did get into this role and you believed that he really did suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. You actually cringe for him at times for the things that come out of his mouth! Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt) In many ways, I did think that she and Melvin were quite alike. Melvin battled to keep people away from him and to some degree so did she. I really did feel for Carol. It is hard enough in life to be a single parent, but tending to one that has as many allergies as her son did and also having to share a house with your mother, knowing that whenever the opportunity for a ?date? a
rrived, it always seemed to end in disaster. She had every right to feel wound up and claustrophobic as she did, I think any one in her position would feel the same way. Then the big issue with Melvin too. She definitely didn?t have it easy. Helen hunt very much deserved winning the academy award for best actress for this too as she certainly has a niche for wooing the crowds with her great acting ability. She is a very versatile actress and she certainly has my respect. Simon (Greg Kinnear) Simon was such a loveable character! His sweet and unassuming personality at first made me think?Boy, get tough! But after watching the whole film, you realise that he does have a more other sarcastic side too. Which makes him a very interesting character altogether. I felt so sorry for Simon after the yobs hospitalised him, but when the movie reveals more of Simon?s past, well?I would have the hankies by hand if I were you! I think Greg did amazing justice to this character, his subtle approach left you wanting more. Frank Sachs (Cuba Gooding Jr) Oh boy, his character was hilarious! Especially when Melvin asks if he is the ?butch? one in the relationship. Cuba whole presence brought you sitting on the edge of the seat, wondering if he was going to smack Melvin one or not. In the end, think much to Melvin?s disbelief, he quite likes Frank?s friendship. I think that Frank is a friend that any one would want for the fact that he is honest and stands up for his friends. Well done Cuba! Verdell Now last, but certainly not least the cutest pooch in the industry. I thought it was funny how at the beginning of the film, Verdell was absolutely terrified of Melvin and by the end of the film he was sitting on Melvin?s lap, and eating out of his hand. OVERALL So, the nitty gritty of it all. I think the acting in this film is superb. The plot is hilarious and sad at the same time. I love t
he way that it gradually opens up each of the characters needs and identities You just wouldn?t believe someone like Melvin could have such a warm side to him, when all he does is spouts horrible nastiness. Carol?s defensive at the best of times, but when she starts to let someone in, you see a whole different side to her. Someone who is caring and understanding, but certainly not afraid to speak her mind! Simon and Frank is like someone we would all want as friends, they are the kind of people who you know that you could rely upon. With a classy combination of unusual but great actors and actresses and a brilliant director James L Brooks (the Simpsons!) teamed with a wicked plot and some seriously funny scenes, you can expect yourselves to be bowled over! Brooks manages to make the subtle changes in his characters very believable. The only thing that bugged me about the film was that it did tend to go very slow at times. But I think Brooks was just trying to keep us in anticipation of what would happen to the characters rather than moving sharply from one trait to another. This film is really one to watch if you need some cheering up and need something to match your mood. It?s definitely one of those films that leave you with a fuzzy ?feel good? feeling. The film is classified 15, it has some nudity, swearing and violence and runs for approximately 133 minutes I love this film, so anyone with a dark sense of humour will no doubt love it too! Thanks for reading XX Sarah.
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br> Yesterday a friend brought a DVD to watch after our diner. It was the AS GOOD AS IT GETS with Jack Nicholson, that he just bought it. He has seen it at least 20 times and he was happy to see it once again with us. So we prepared our popcorn (sweet and salty),jelly babies, ice cream etc. and we watched it. The Plot A very cynic writer suffers from really bad illnesses and has as a hobby to insult everybody around him. He lives alone and it seems that he doesn't have any friends or family and he is absorbed in the writing of his book. In a house near by, lives a single mother who is trying to raise her asthmatic child with many difficulties. She works in a coffee shop that the writer is visiting often and she is the only one who can really serve him as she has the same behaviour with him, really! Next to his house lives a young and talented artist with his dog,his impossibly sensitive dog name Verdell( a Brussels Griffon). One night he was beaten very badly and he had to go to the hospital and he left the dog with the writer! (Jack Nicholson) It is the perfect pet for a meticulous, antisocial writer like him because is small, sensitive, quiet, polite and very very cute. He couldn't resist! As the time is passing the dog manage to slowly build a small bridge between the writer and the artist and made him to open up a little bit. The dog did well on this section as the writer was that much changed that he fell in love with the single mother. Really the dog open them up and change their lives really! DVD Features Comments from the director ( James L. Brooks) , filmographies of the actors, and the movie trailer. Not very impressive features I have to say. Price £11.99 at CD-WOW.COM Overall Opinion I would recommend this film to everybody. It's romantic comedy and melodrama at the same time. It will touch everybody. I know
its an old film (1997 was produced I think) but it's a good one. I don't like Jack Nicholson when he is mad in his roles (see my review on Anger Management) but this one turned out well. He is really good and sensitive and real character. The rest of the actors are : Helen Hunt (she is really good), Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr (so funny)., Skeet Ulrich .All of them though did very well. Once again I would say that its a very special film. It will touch you and make your life better at least for two hours and how many films can do that really? Don?t miss your chance to see it. Trust it for your entertainment because its AS GOOD AS IT GETS!
This film is a winner of 2 1997 academy awards for best actor - Jack Nicholson and best actress – Helen Hunt. This film also stars Greg Kinnear and Cuba Gooding JR and I would definitely recommend watching this film. The daily Mirror said, “Miss this movie at your peril…” and The Guardian said “A fantastic Movie, definitely one to see a good 10-15 times”. Jack Nicholson plays the part of Melvin Udall an obsessive-compulsive novelist who takes pride and enjoys offending, upsetting and affronting others. He thinks nothing of hurting others mentally and if praised throws it back in the persons face by trying to prove he isn’t nice at all. He eats at the same place and asks for the same waiter Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt) everyday. He doesn’t even trust the cutlery there and brings his own set of plastic cutlery with him to eat his meals. When washing his hands he uses one soap and washes his hands, then chucks it in the bin and uses another. Also when he walks in his door he locks it twisting the lock 5 times for each of his many locks. Melvin also wont step on the cracks in the pavement when walking down the street, the type thing a small child would do. His neighbour Simon is a very good painter and also is gay. He has a good friend who when Simon is hospitalised forces Melvin to look after Simons dog. This, along with waitress Carol helps put Melvin back in the human race and gives him a heart for others. This film is rated a 15 as it has one strong scene of violence, a mild scene of sex/nudity and occasional, strong language. The theme of this film is comedy and relationships. It is cleverly made and has a good cast of actors who really make you feel for the film. At the beginning you couldn’t like Melvin, you could even hate him but as the film progresses you realise he isn’t all bad and that is turned around.
This film is definitely worth seeing.
With literally thousands of films produced every year, it is hard to sort out the classics from the mediocrity. Fortunately the title gives the quality away of this film. They don't get much better than this, from the Oscar winning performances to the fantastic story line. You will laugh out loud and cry like a baby. Here's my review, read it or save yourself some time and go out and buy it now! The Cast ******** Jack Nicholson - Melvin Udall Helen Hunt - Carol Connelly Greg Kinnear - Simon Bishop Cuba Gooding Junior - Frank Sachs Shirley Knight - Beverley Skeet Ulrich - Vincent Jesse James - Spencer Connelly The Story ********* Obsessive-compulsive novelist Melvin Udall lives his life through a series of routines. From avoiding the cracks in the pavement to eating in the same restaurant at the same time each day. It is at this restaurant that he meets Carol, a single mother and waitress. Carol lives with her mother and takes care of her sick son, Spencer. One day Carol fails to turn up for work and this throws one of Melvins routines out of sync. Spencer has taken a turn for the worst and Carol must attend to him. In a vain attempt to get Carol back to work in order to wait on him, Melvin arranges for an expensive specialist doctor to visit Spencer, in the hope that he will make Spencer better. This in turn will enable Carol to return to work and Melvin can then carry on as normal (normal for him at least!). Carol, who tries to see the best in everybody, mistakes Melvins help as an act of kindness and starts to see this cranky and offensive man in a new light. Meanwhile Melvin's homosexual neighbour Simon, an artist, is badly beaten up by his model Vinvent, a vagrant off the streets. Hospitalised and unable to look after his dog, Simons agent Frank, insists that Melvin looks after the pet, Ridell. Initially the idea of looking after the animal causes Melvi
n great terror, after all, this dog was not part of his usual routine. However, Melvin soon becomes quite fond of the pet and hates the thought of giving Simon his dog back when he returns from hospital. Eventually Simon returns home and strikes up an uneasy friendship with Melvin through their mutual love of the dog. Unable to work and swamped with medical bills, he struggles to make ends meet and is forced to go and visit his estranged parents. Physically unable to go on his own, Melvin gets volunteered into taking him. The homophobic Melvin is wary of going on this trip alone with Simon and he ropes in Carol to go with them. Carol feels indebted to Melvin and the three of them set off. Is there romance in the air? Well as per usual I will say no more to avoid spoiling the story for those people who have yet to see it! Cast/Characters *************** Jack Nicholson plays Melvin Udall the obsessive-compulsive novelist and quite possibly the most offensive man on the planet. But it is because he is so blunt that you just can't help loving the character. ****Favourite Melvin quote, when asked by a female fan as to how he writes so well from a woman's perspective "It's easy, I simply think like a man and then take away reason and accountability!"**** Melvin, for all his faults shows how vulnerable and lonely he is when he befriends Simons dog. Unable to admit it, he puts on a brave face to the outside world when really he is hurting inside. Friendships are hard to come by when you are like Melvin, but through Simon and Carol he gradually learns to live a more normal life. Jack Nicholson is part of a very rare breed. Quite simply he is a movie legend. Who has not heard of his name? When he walks on the screen, you can't help but notice him. Mr mega charisma, he makes the ladies swoon. Let's face it, if you are a man and could choose one person as a drinking buddy, Jack w
ould be very high on the list. Movie moguls love him too, forget Arnie and Sly Stallone, Jack can fill cinemas around the world. My title is of course, also a reference to him and to a film that he has starred in "One flew over the Cuckoo's nest". Another great movie and one that everybody should see. Why the comparison? Well in One flew over the cuckoo's nest, Nicholson plays a convict who is pretending to be mad. In "As good as it gets", He plays a man who IS slightly mad! He won an Oscar for this performance as best actor, need I say more! Helen Hunt plays Carol Connelly, an all round nice person struggling through life. She only wants the best for her son, to be able to look after him the best that she can. Unfortunately, circumstances mean that she can't afford the best treatment for him. Nevertheless, she does her best, forfeiting any Kind of social life in the process. You can't help feeling sorry for her. By far the best performance that I have ever seen from Hunt. Maybe it was the on screen chemistry with Nicholson or perhaps the excellent writing. Either way, she also won an Oscar, for Best Actress and it was well deserved! If you are looking for another film with this lady in, I would recommend "What women want" (2000) starring opposite Mel Gibson! Greg Kinear plays Simon Bishop. Until attacked in his home, Simon gets by all right financially, Selling his art work through Frank his agent and friend. The attack means he has to start relying on others for support and this is not a position that he is comfortable with. Thrown out of the parental home for being homosexual. Due to his financial trouble, he is forced to return, to ask his family for help. This in turn sets up probably the most unlikely of on screen friendships with Melvin and it is sheer joy to watch as they gradually get to know eachother. Greg Kinear is really only an actor that you will recognise from smaller roles and unknown
films. I can't really recommend any of his other work. However, in this film he is excellent! As for the rest of the cast, well Cuba Gooding Junior is great as the feminine art dealer with attitude. Shirley knight is passable as Carols mother who only wants the best for her daughter and Grandson. Jesse James plays the sickly child Spencer. Not really an overwhelming performance but he does alright and adds somewhat to the "ahhhh" factor of the story. Comedy ****** Most if not all of the humour stems from Jack Nicholsons character, Melvin. He is just so damn rude! He says the things that most people think but are just too afraid to say out loud. His eccentricities and routines will also make you laugh. Of course his character suffers from recognised medical condition and this does affect people in the real world. Should we laugh at this? Well that really is for you to decide, I don't think any harm is meant by it or even caused from it. My advice would be to just look at the film, and save the moralising for another day. Romance ******* All the romance stems from the unusual relationship between Melvin and Carol. Unlikely to succeed other than in a film scenario, the characters gradually learn to see the good in eachother. The on screen chemistry oozes between the lead characters, you really want them to get together, even though in reality you know they would end up killing eachother! Direction/Story/Screenplay ************************** James L.Brooks directed the film and wrote the screenplay from a story created by Mark Andrus. Brooks made his film directorial debut on the film "Terms of Endearment" (1983). Which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. I guess if you are looking for a noticeable debut then he found it! However, having worked on the television series "The Mary Tyler more Show" a
nd "Taxi" I guess he was used to working in the entertainment business. Perhaps through working with the television shows he learnt all about character development, something that shines through in this film. The direction is great, it is just so smooth. The camera is used to great effect to give you views from the characters perspective. One of my favourite shots involve Melvin and the dog, as they both look at the screen in unison. Watch out for this as it is just so funny and extremely well done! Soundtrack ********** Art Garfunkel "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life", Nat King Cole "For Sentimental Reasons" and other songs from some classic artists all add to the feel of the film. Composer Hans Zimmer wrote the original score. Having been involved with other notable films such as "The Lion King,"," "The Last Emperor," and "Rain Man? you know that you are in for a treat! Overall view ************ Going by the cast and crew, I was expecting a lot from this film and I was not disappointed! Perhaps it was my own similarities to the lead character Melvin (scary or what!). Maybe it was just the great humour and storyline. Failing all that, maybe just the great screen performances. I honestly can't see how I can fault this film. No doubt there maybe some people reading this review that just didn't like it? Everybody has his or her own tastes. However, for me this film will provide entertainment and laughs for a majority of it's viewers and it is one that you can view over and over again, and still enjoy watching it. What are you waiting for, go and buy it now!
"As Good as It Gets" is one of those really intelligent movies. It's light-hearted without being too much to take, and it has its dose of "reality for a Friday night". Jack Nicholson the obsessive romance writer, Melvin Udall, who lives in an up-scale Manhattan apartment across the hall from a gay artist, Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear) and his adorable dog, Verdell. Simon is beaten up by robbers, and Melvin, the pessimistic, bitter, complaining, obsessive-compulsive, and prejudicial shut-in, has Simon's dog forced on him, while Simon's still in the hospital. Melvin grows affectionate towards the dog, and the good in him begins to leak out. The story also centralizes around Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), a waitress at Melvin's only restaurant and who has a chronically sick child, Spencer. The story continues with the three of them traveling together to Simon's parents' house in the south of Baltimore. Melvin almost wins Carol over, but blows it. They come back to New York after the trip with Simon feeling a new sense of hope in his life, as well as Carol. The movie doesn't end there, but I don't want to give away the ending. I will say this, however. Melvin really is a good man on the inside, despite all of his short comings and sardonic remarks. The story is about finding yourself and love in your adulthood, and coming to terms with it. The only grievance I had with the movie was that it kind of went on for too long, but it's definitely worth it.
"As Good As It Gets" is an entertaining movie that follows three very different people whose lives cross because of circumstances, and change, because of emotions. Melvin (Jack Nicholson) is the overly obnoxious and obsessively compulsive writer. Carol (Helen Hunt) is the waitress whose status as a single mother emphasizes her inability to take the best care of her only son who suffers from a severe asthmatic condition. And Simon (Greg Kinnear) is the semi-successful gay artist whose life turns for the worst after an unpredictable and bizarre incident. Their sadness, pains, joys and loves are the basis of this film. It's an extremely well made character film which plays just as good as a comedy, as it does an effective drama. This movie had me laughing out loud on several occasions, while fighting back the lump in my throat in a couple of other important scenes. Once again, director James L. Brooks has managed to balance the two elements in this great picture about love, the trials and tribulations of everyday life, and the human ability to survive and overcome all misfortunes. The acting was topnotch all around, with Nicholson pulling off another great performance as the rudest man in New York City, and Kinnear finally getting a chance to successfully showcase his acting chops to the world. Hunt was also very good, but I did feel as though she over-cried her part in one important scene (Although she did make up for it in the scene where she demands that Melvin "never mention her son again" in the restaurant). The supporting cast was also very solid, with Cuba Gooding Jr. continuing to show us why he is definitely worth "the money." And despite the fact that the movie did run a little long at close to two and a half hours, the manner in which the characters portrayed their lives was enough to genuinely keep me interested and caring throughout the picture's entire run-time. The soundtrack was also very
good, as was the appropriate mix of sadness and humor throughout the entire picture. One thing to keep in mind for this film is that its content is definitely geared towards a more mature and adult audience, but I don't think younger audiences would mind watching this entertaining comedy/drama.
For all of its conventional plotting about an obsessive-compulsive curmudgeon (Jack Nicholson) who improves his personality at the urging of his gay neighbour (Greg Kinnear) and a waitress (Helen Hunt) who inspires his best behaviour, this is one of the sharpest Hollywood comedies of the 1990s. Nicholson could play his role in his sleep (the Oscar he won should have gone to Robert Duvall for The Apostle), but his mischievous persona is precisely necessary to give heart to his seemingly heartless character, who is of all things a successful romance novelist. As a single mum with a chronically asthmatic young son, Hunt gives the film its conscience and integrity (along with plenty of wry humour) and she also won an Oscar for her wonderful performance. Greg Kinnear had to settle for an Oscar nomination (while co-writer-director James L Brooks was inexplicably snubbed by Oscar that year), but his work was also singled out in the film's near-unanimous chorus of critical praise. It's questionable whether a romance between Hunt and the much older Nicholson is entirely believable, but this movie's smart enough--and charmingly funny enough--to make it seem endearingly possible. --Jeff Shannon