The trials and tribulations of a compulsive writer, Melvin Udall. After his homosexual neighbor is brutally beaten, he is entrusted to the care of the neighbors dog, with a difficult relationship with a waitress to add on top of that. What develops is a weekend triptriangle between these three individuals, and together they learn the true meaning of the sunny side of life.
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Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson are magnetic on the screen in this touchingfilm about relationships and true love. You will laugh and cry and love allthe characters. For me, it was what Hollywood should beabout.
An incredibly well acted film. Jack Nicholson surpasses even his greattalents and the supporting cast do more than 'support.' The portrayal ofthethin grey line between sanity and mental illness is subtle yet powerful andis highlighted in the well written dialogue. Patient directing and somegreat post production gives room for the full value of theperformances.Deeply touching and funny, the film creates a bittersweet scenario that wecould all learn from.
This movie is As Bad as it Gets. It is chock full of stock characters in predictable predicaments. I did not laugh once. The only character with any charm at all was the gay neighbor, who was savagely attacked by intruders, and then after his return from the hospital, verbally brutalized by his neighbor and rejected by his parents. If his story is comedy, who needs tragedy?The premise of the movie was that the brittle, tactless writer (Jack Nicholson) was really a good guy "underneath it all." Unfortunately for the viewer, he was more cruel than cranky. After all, the only evidence that he was nicer than he seemed (never mind the oxymoron) was that he gave the waitress some money so that her ailing son could finally get house calls from earnest doctors after years of neglect by uncaring doctors and greedy HMOs. He, of course, was rich and did not miss the money anyway. Sound absurd? It was.As for the love interest, this movie follows the classic formula of constant friction between the lover and the object of love which culminates in the realization that they don't hate eachother after all. The constant bickering is intended to create suspense. In this case, though, by the thirtieth time they come together and then are torn asunder by Jack Nicholson's insults, who cares? And why should the viewer root for them anyway? I personally am sick to tears of being asked to sympathize with the mean, old rich man who is trying to catch the beautiful sweet girl less than half his age. Despite mighty attempts at clever repartee, the dialogue was tinny and shallow. At times, it caught my attention only because I could not believe it was for real. When Helen Hunt lost her temper at her future love interest (Jack -- at the time he was her restaurant patron) ("Don't you ever speak of my son that way!!") the glare in her eyes was so studied, it looked like she was play acting.
If you gave a class of fifth graders the assignment of writing a scriptoutline for a story of an abrasive but somehow lovable middle-aged man, ayoung single mother and a dying gay man, they would come up with somethinglike this. Opposites attract, people bond to each other while they're ontheroad as the characters learn how to love and about the value of acceptingothers. Both Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson play characters who shift backand forth from normality to extreme neuroticism to suit the plot; for me,their characters were unbelievable. A great disappointment from James L.Brooks
The characterizations are great in this flick all the way through till about the last 45 minutes. Helen Hunt's character ending up with Jack Nicholson is repulsive, not only because of the superficail age difference, but because of his personality and how he treats her. There is a veild attempt at the end with a shot that shows him walking over cracks in the road that is supposed to show us all that "AWW!! HE CAN CHANGE!" well,I don't buy it. Other than that, this movie was very good. Very solid performances by Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson. Greg Kinnear was a bit uneven, but what can you do?
jack, you outdone yourself in this tearjerking comedy drama mushed allintoone movie. with the awesome performances of the gay artist, helen hunt,andcuba gooding jr., they all sold their parts to the fullest extent.melvin,jack's character, was a grump almost the entire time, until he met andfellmadly in love with the waitress that almost always serves him hisbreakfast.he seems to have his heart in the freezer, and then, when helen comeswithbreakfast, he sets the heart out and lets it dethaw for the longest time.ifound it charming how he tries it so hard to impress her, and even thoughitisnt that flattering, it kinda is since he is used to doing what he wantstodo, not what women want him to do. the gay artist had to have hit homewiththe crying, (**SPOILER**)when someone attacks his work and him, leavinghimto rely on the support of melvin. melvin really is a great guy at heart,but has it all bottled inside. jack does an outstanding job as thehardenedsoul, who learns to love like beast from beauty and the beast, only jackwasnot one about appearances. Love, can be found by all people, cranky andlovable. this movie really makes love be the best thing on this world.congratulations on a influential movie that changed this girl's views oflove! (A A-)
Jack Nicholson is one of the best actors on the planet, that is prettyobvious. He has such a smart alec and creepy charisma to him that youreally can't look away when he's on screen. The actor has done avariety of terrific performances, from Jack Gittes, to R.P. Mcmurphey,to Jack Torrence, to Warren Schmidt, to Frank Costello. But one of hisbest work came in 1997, when the actor won his third Oscar for As GoodAs It Gets.In this one, Nicholson plays Melvin Udall, a grouchy Manhanhattan-itewho just does not understand people. But that all sort of changes whenhis neighbor Simon(a terrific Greg Kinnear) is brutally beaten in hishome, and Melvin is forced to take care of his dog. He also begins tochange when he meets a nice waitress(Helen Hunt in her Oscar winningrole) who has a sick son.As Good As It Gets is a wonderful romantic comedy. It's truly aone-of-a-kind. The dialogue is funny, and not just funny, painfullyfunny, and charming. The performances from all three deserve Oscars.Kinnear is the only one who went home empty handed, and he shouldn'thave been.There are plenty of moments when you really question what is going onin Melvin's head, and those are truly the most interesting moments ofthe film. James L. Brooks has always had a talent for charming overaudiences, and here he does his best work, making lovable charactersthat are three-dimensional.It's an utterly delightful film that should not be missed. Funny,romantic, awkward, and unforgettable. It definitely is up there withNicholson's best performances. My favorite is R.P. Macmurphey, in whichNicholson plays a man who is pretending to be insane to escape fromprison. But isn't pretending to be insane what Nicholson does best? A
This review is from: As Good As It Gets (DVD) Lots of movies I liked pretty well the first time I saw them weren't nearly as appealing when I see them again some years later.I recently saw this movie for the third time on DVD, and darn if it doesn't get more delicious every time.The writing is so crisp it snaps. The acting is so pleasurable it's like being ring-side at a 3-ring circus. The direction, photography, set design, art direction, etc.I hear often in recent reviews that Jack Nicholson is given roles where he gets, essentially, to play Jack Nicholson. This is not to imply that Jack is any flavor of heartless romance writer with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - but it means that the "Jack" we get to see in this movie seems a good guy to spend 2 hours with. Helen Hunt, Cuba Gooding, Jr and Greg Kinnear make perfect stand-ins for our desire to "hang out with Jack".This is the movie that "Something's Gotta Give" desperately wants to be - yet this film exceeds that more recent work by pretty much every measurable marker. I'll watch this film probably once a year as long as I live. The one time I saw Something's Gotta Give was enough.
WAY over rated romantic comedy seemed to be elevated to status of bestpicture nominee because it has Jack Nicholson. Just having Jack in it doesNOT make it good. Although features some fun supporting work, Nicholson ispretty much playing his typical a**hole jerk he plays in almost every movie.Doing the same character over & over is not really acting, its justrecylcing an old performance. Don't bother.
All I can say is: MUST SEEEE!!!!!!Sweet and sour combine in to one.You will cry and laugh with Jack.Definetly a must in every house
Melvin Udall is a misanthrope who works at home as a best-sellingnovelist in New York City. He suffers from obsessive-compulsivedisorder which, paired with his misanthropy, alienates nearly everyonewith whom he interacts. He eats breakfast at the same table in the samerestaurant every day using disposable plastic utensils he brings withhim due to his pathological mysophobia. He takes an interest in hiswaitress, Carol Connelly, the only server at the restaurant who cantolerate his behavior. One day, Melvin's neighbor, a gay artist namedSimon Bishop, is assaulted and nearly killed. Melvin is forced to carefor Simon's dog Verdell while Simon is hospitalized. Although heinitially does not enjoy caring for the dog, Melvin becomes emotionallyattached to it. He simultaneously receives more attention from Carol.When Bishop is released from the hospital, Melvin is unable to copeemotionally with returning the dog. Melvin's life is further alteredwhen Carol decides to work closer to her home in Brooklyn so she cancare for her acutely asthmatic son (Jesse James). Unable to adjust toanother waitress, Melvin arranges to pay for her son's medical expensesif Carol agrees to continue working at her previous restaurant inManhattan. Meanwhile, Simon's assault and rehabilitation, coupled withVerdell's preference for Melvin, causes Simon to lose his creativemuse. Simon is approaching bankruptcy due to his medical bills. Simon'sagent, Frank Sachs, convinces Simon to go to Baltimore and ask hisestranged parents for money. Frank offers Melvin use of his car for thetrip. Melvin invites Carol to accompany them on the trip to lessen theawkwardness. She reluctantly accepts the invitation, and relationshipsamong the three develop. Once in Baltimore, Carol persuades Melvin totake her out to have dinner. Melvin's comments during the dinnergreatly upset Carol, and she abruptly leaves. Upon seeing thefrustrated Carol, Simon begins to sketch her and rekindles hiscreativity, once more feeling a desire to paint. He briefly reconnectswith his parents, but is able to tell them that he'll be fine. Afterreturning to New York City, Carol tells Melvin that she does not wanthim in her life anymore. She later regrets her statement and calls himto apologize. The relationship between Melvin and Carol remainscomplicated until Simon, whom Melvin has allowed to move in with himuntil he can get a new apartment, convinces Melvin to declare his lovefor her at her apartment in Brooklyn, where the two realize the depthof their personal connection. The film ends with Melvin and Carolwalking together to buy fresh rolls at the corner bakery.
This is the movie that made me take another look at Jack Nicholson's actingabilities and it also made me become more interested in him as a person andwhat makes him tick. His performance in this movie is excellent. The otheractors are okay. After watching it when itcame on TNT I had to buy the video. Also this movie caused me to rentCuckoo's Nest which later I bought my own copy. Last it caused me to giveThe Shining another chance and I bought that movie on VHS as well. Parts ofthis movie moved me to tears and made me think there's more to JackNicholson than meets the eye.
This is an extraordinary romantic comedy that can be seen again and again with pure delight. It is difficult to imagine how anyone could give this movie a rating less than 5 stars. Nicholson stars in one of his best 5 roles of all time. In spite of this fact, Nicholson is almost overshadowed by great performances by Hunt and Kinnear, especially Hunt.The movie gives the viewer so much. It is wonderful and amazing. Seeing Nicholson's Melvin soften and melt with the dog and his gay neighbor is just terrific. The film showcases Hunt's acting ability and her stunning beauty. Persons who suffer with OCD will be greatly moved as Melvin struggles with that illness and makes considerable progress to a recovery.The movie is warm, witty, romantic, funny and very engaging. Do not miss this treat and see it more than once. It gets even better the 2nd and 3rd time.
Helen Hunt is brilliant in this movie. As good as Judi Dench and HelenaBonham Carter were in their Oscar-nominated roles of 1997, Hunt wasevery inch their equal. Her role was by far the most difficult of thefilm.Nicholson basically just played himself, and did a fewobsessive-compulsive tics every now and again for variety. If you're afan of his, you've seen this before.Greg Kinnear did an okay job, but his character was largely ignored bythe screenwriters -- I never felt as though I were allowed inside hismind the way I was allowed inside the mind of Hunt's character. Theonly way we even know that his character is gay is because everyonekeeps talking about how "gay" he is -- it's a character trait writtenin to annoy Nicholson's character; he could have been a saintly Jew ora saintly black man. The fact that he's a saintly gay person is largelyinconsequential.But...Hunt's performance is easily worth the price of the rental. Themovie gets two stars; Helen Hunt gets four.
this was an okay movie. it had some funny parts in it, but other than that it was okay.
'As good as it gets' is tragic comedy about a writer Melvin (JackNicholson) who is afraid of germ-infection from other people and otherplaces. At the beginning of the film we see him being hostile againsthis gay neighbor and his dog, we also see him having lunch at the samerestaurant where he always wants to be served by the same waitress.The Jack Nicholson character stands pretty much central from thebeginning of the film, but that is going to change when the other twoleading characters start to develop. The waitress Carol played by HelenHunt has a very sick son and he is in desperate need of medical help.Melvin is prepared to offer this help in a kind of way by submitting adoctor for him. Here fore he asks of her just to keep serving him ather restaurant.The third leading character Simon who is a painter gets harassed earlyin the movie. Simon ends up in a hospital and is threatened to lose hisapartment because of financial depths. From this point a relationshipbegins between Melvin and Simon.At a certain point in the movie the three characters make a trip toSimons parents for financial support. Here all the characters reallymelt together and some good scenes come along. The acting of all threeparties is great. The dialogue is pretty decent and the story showslittle flaws.Of course the outcome of the movie is predictable and a Hollywoodending can't lack from the film. But overall I still highly recommendthis movie. Final grade 8/10
I absolutely love this film. It can get sort of long, but it's still great. This is one of those movies that contains a blend of drama and comedy. Ienjoy Jack Nicholson's portrayal as the anti-social Melvin Udall. AnotherJack Nicholson film I saw was "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Hispersonality is different in that movie than in this one. In Cuckoo's Nest,he was more open minded and showed his fellow inmates the joys of life. Theone in Cuckoo's Nest would have probably made friends with Simon the gayartist. He would have been a lot more polite with waitress Carol Connely. To top it all off, he would have been a lot friendlier and would have madeseveral friends. The Jack Nicholson in this film, however, would have been nasty to theinmates at the mental hospital. He would not have wanted anything to dowith them. So do you think Melvin Udall will become a better man? Well, watch thismovie and find out.
I went to see this film shortly after the Oscar nominations were given out. I frankly don't see why it deserved any. Jack Nicholson's job is by-the-numbers, and as much as I like Helen Hunt, her role didn't look like muchof a stretch. Their performances were definitely not Oscar-worthy, and thescript was standard-issue Hollywood. The picture shows me how meaninglessthe Oscars are becoming.
It isn't often that a movie comes around which is the pinnacle ofAmerican Cinema, but in the uncanny case of As food As It Gets justsuch an event has occurred. The movie tells the story of Melvin, atroubled but brilliant writer who has mental problems. He isn'tretarded, mind you, these demons are all in his head, and they forcehim to perform silly rituals and wipe many times. This condition hasturned him into a mean fellow, and it is honestly one of the toughestexperiences in American Cinema to follow him around on his "meanerrands." Because he is mean to EVERYBODY! There is a mixed-race (ablack and white) gay couple, just as happy and loving as they can be,who live downstairs, and he is M-E-A-N mean to them, calling themadverse and down-putting names and such. It's hard to watch becausepeople should be treated as they treat people, no matter how gay. Thedirector shows this brilliantly, however! I won' t "spoil" what ensues,but let's just say Cuba Gooding Jr., the "man" of the two, really hasthe last "laugh" here! ROTFL! But it isn't only the gays to which thisman is mean. Every day he has breakfast (one of his rituals) at thesame quaint little bistro downtown, where Helen Hunt is his waitress.Oh boy is he mean to her! It's like she can't do anything right! She istrying to raise a family on a waitresses salary, for gosh sakes, andall he does is give her "lip." CAUTION SPOILER The food is bad, theforks are wrong, etc. After her husband gets run over, she is leftalone to raise her son, who can't breathe. Enough to drive anybody"crazy!" And lo and behold, just when you're thinking "oh no he's not!"the director throws Jack Nicholson into this not-so brady bunch! Atfirst there is hell to pay but gradually they teach him how to let goand love a little. Then a little more. Then an art student beats thecrap out of the white gay guy, which is a set-back, but not for long.In the endÂwell, you'll just have to see it to understand what awonderful job cast and crew have done to point out that if though we'reall a little "crazy" we still need each other to get by! Ten stars.
One of the biggest hits of 1997 and garnering Jack Nicholson yet anotherOscar, "As Good As It Gets" is a fascinating comedy-drama. It might beperceived as bad taste using mental illness as the basis for a comedy, butthe premise works wonderfully in a story that explores the nature of beingboth nasty and nice.In modern-day middle-class New York city, Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) isawriter of successful romantic novels. He also suffers fromobsessive-compulsive disorder, which means he eats in his favouriterestaurant using only plastic cutlery, does not walk on cracks in thepavement, and keeps everyone around him at a safe distance through abarrageof obscene insults. He is gradually brought out of his shell when his gayartist neighbour Simon (Greg Kinnear), is viciously attacked and robbed inhis own apartment. The artist's manic art dealer Frank (Cuba Gooding Jr.)forces Melvin to look after Simon's dog while he's in hospital.Elsewhere,Melvin develops a close relationship with Carol (Helen Hunt), atough-talking waitress with a disabled young son...The film's main strength is it's four leading actors, who turn in somefabulous performances to make the film work. Nicholson has been well-castin the role of Melvin. In the hands of any other actor, Melvin would berepellent. Nicholson lends the part his customary charisma and presencetomake the part endearing, sympathetic and scabrously funny. He develops agood onscreen partnership with Helen Hunt's Carol. There is a finepsychological (if not necessarily sexual) chemistry between the pair, andtheir inevitable coupling works well because of it.Greg Kinnear is on fine form as Simon, who loses then rediscovers his lovefor his art. What's interesting about the character is that hishomosexuality is simply a trait, rather than the dominating facet of hispersonality. In Kinnear's hands the character is subtle, touching andbelievable throughout. Cuba Gooding Jr is maniacally slick as art dealerFrank, but he is a little underused, his presence being sorely missedduringthe last third of the film.Director James L. Brooks keeps the tone of the film consistentlylighthearted without being patronising. That said, some overly cutesceneswith Simon's dog could have been clipped out. He and fellow writer MarkAndrus have developed an interesting tale with several plot arcs that arefascinating to watch. As Melvin and Carol gradually soften up, Simonassertively toughens up.The film chides Melvin's defensive nastiness, but at the same time mocksminor characters who are naively or superficially nice. These includeCarol's busybody mother, forever prying into her daughter's business;Simon's ridiculously sentimental Spanish nurse and most memorably, thecloying receptionist who unwisely asks Melvin what he thinks about women.The film advises that we must never repel others, but must always approachthem with sincerity and respect.To conclude, this is an interesting movie that looks at how seeminglydifferent people can learn to understand each other and does so withstreakof scathingly honest humour.