As Good As It Gets (1997)


Movie Review

Directed by: James L. Brooks

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear

Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) has got a lot of issues.  He suffers from misanthropy, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and germaphobia.  Despite this, he’s a best-selling author.  Every morning, Melvin, the germaphobe, goes to a Manhattan restaurant and brings his own disposable plastic utensils with him to eat breakfast.  While there, he takes an interest in Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), one of the waitresses at this restaurant.  She’s the only person who can stand this rude misanthrope.  Meanwhile, Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear), his neighbor, is attacked and needs Melvin to care for his dog while he recuperates.  Melvin initially does not care for the dog but soon becomes pretty attached to his new best friend.  With Carol and the dog, it’s really as good as it gets for Melvin.  When Carol decides to quit and work at a restaurant in Brooklyn and Simon recovers and wants his dog back, Melvin’s life begins to quickly unravel.

James L. Brooks’ As Good As It Gets is a refreshing, creative addition to the often formulaic romantic comedy genre.  The legendary Jack Nicholson gives another incredible, award-winning performance as the rude, troubled Melvin Udall.  As Carol Conelly, Helen Hunt gives a powerful, emotive performance in which she goes toe-to-toe with this towering figure in the acting world.  The duo has a unique chemistry that lights up the big screen.  Well-written and well-acted, As Good As It Gets is a romantic comedy for the record books that will charm you from start to finish.  As Good As It Gets gets a sober rating.



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