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As Good As It Gets
As Good As It Gets
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich
Director: James L. Brooks
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     1998     2hr 19min

A waitress, a gay painter and a dog help a misanthrope.

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Movie Details

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich
Director: James L. Brooks
Creators: James L. Brooks, Aldric La'Auli Porter, Bridget Johnson, John D. Schofield, Kristi Zea, Mark Andrus
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, James L. Brooks, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/20/1998
Original Release Date: 12/25/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/1997
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 2hr 19min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 9
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 6/19/2023...
This film shows you the diverse aspects of people's lives with as bad as they get at times as well as the upsides. A common theme took away from what could have been a perfect film. A must watch for Nicholson, Hunt, Kinnear and small dog fans!
Michael C. (msc1208) from ROANOKE, VA
Reviewed on 6/23/2017...
This movie is not Rated R. Please don't let a typo keep you from missing out on such a perfect movie that is age-appropriate for its actual PG-13 rating.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Marleen M. from WHEELING, WV
Reviewed on 6/23/2017...
Can't stomach Jack Nicholson and hated this movie so much I wanted to walk out but DH insisted it had to get better as it couldn't get any worse. He was wrong.
2 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Wayne F. (WWIIpfc) from COLORADO SPGS, CO
Reviewed on 8/27/2015...
Jack Nicholson is not my favorite actor, however he exceeded my expectations.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A rarity
Susan Fong | Las Vegas, NV USA | 07/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

""As Good As It Gets" is a rarity among today's movies, a truly witty and poignant romantic comedy with an unusual protagonist. That protagonist is Melvin, played with relish by Jack Nicholson. Melvin is a highly successful novelist who is also an abrasive misanthrope suffering from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Not your typical hero for sure!)

As one would expect, Melvin is a recluse and resistant to any changes in his life until he is forced to interact with a down-on-his-luck gay neighbor, Simon, portrayed by Greg Kinnear, and Simon's perky little pet pooch, Verdell. Melvin also becomes reluctantly involved with the pretty and patient waitress Carol, played by Helen Hunt, who serves him breakfast every day at a local cafe. Other than Carol, none of the other cafe's employees will deal with the impossible Melvin.

When Carol abruptly quits her job, Melvin tracks her down and offers her financial incentives to return to her post. Melvin increasingly finds himself drawn into Carol's personal life, and he eventually falls for the plucky single mom.

"As Good As It Gets" is a quirky update of the fable "Beauty and the Beast". Gifted writer-director James L. Brooks has assembled a superb cast to re-tell this classic tale. Besides the pitch perfect lead performances by Nicholson, Hunt, and Kinnear, there are sparkling supporting performances by Cuba Gooding Jr., Shirley Knight and others.

Too many of today's so-called comedies are mindless, uninspired concoctions profuse with sophomoric vulgarities and sexual obscenities. "As Good As It Gets" reminds us that there are still a few determined filmmakers willing to bring qualities such as intelligence, inventiveness, sophistication, and charm back to the silver screen. It is a shame that there are not more artists like these to inspire and entertain much-deprived audiences."
As Good As It Got
Edward Lee | 01/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I hate to admit it, but I've never been a fan of Jack Nicholson.Also, I've never been smitten with the lovely Helen Hunt.Lastly, Greg Kinnear has always been REALLY too smarmy for me.However, somehow AS GOOD AS IT GETS has a special place in my heart.Nicholson is absolutely fabulous as the neurotic writer who, due to circumstances wildly beyond his control, has to not so much step outside of his comfort zone as he has to destroy the barriers that have isolated him from society when the people that make up the routine of his life -- eating at the corner restaurant, pestering the gay neighbors -- start to come apart at the seams. The crusty exterior, we learn, is just a facade, and the man underneath -- while not perfect -- accepts that life is worth living ... as good as it gets.Helen Hunt is absolutely radiant in the role as the corner shop waitress who's forced to deal with Nicholson's habits ... and, much to her surprise and the audience, she begins to experience true emotion for the man.Greg Kinnear plays the struggling artist role to perfection. He has bouts of great self-esteem countered by comic moments of heightened anxiety, and the subtlety he brings to his portrayal is may be all-too-Hollywood but is surprisingly human.A perfect mix, this film is about AS GOOD AS IT GETS."
One of the '90s most beautiful comedies | United Kingdom | 11/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Another reviewer comments that the events in this film conspire to make Jack Nicholson (or rather Melvyn Udall) a human being. On the contrary, this is a film where the central character, an obsessive-compulsive bigot, is human from the start: We just don't realize it. A key moment in the film is when Simon, Melvin's gay neighbour (Greg Kinnear), is telling the young male prostitute, Vincent (Skeet Ulrich), about his art, and comments that he likes to watch people because sometimes, when you look at someone long enough, "you see their humanity." At that point Vincent is momentarily enabled to see something beyond the seedy world of male prostitution; at the same time Simon gives us the interpretive key to the whole movie. It is a film about three very different people who discover their common humanity.Melvin is a hateful and insensitive recluse with a debilitating mental disorder; Carol (Helen Hunt), a Manhattan waitress struggling with her son's chronic illness and finding her identity swallowed up in the process; Simon, a gay artist who loses everything when he is attacked and robbed in his own home. One by one they must learn to see the humanity in each other and, as importantly, in themselves ("Where'd I go?" asks Simon as he looks at the reflection of his battered face in the mirror). We, too, must learn to see the human being underneath the spiteful and vicious (if somewhat the "loveable rogue") in Melvin.The theme is developed sensitively and beautifully throughout the course of the film (perhaps only slightly overlong at more than two hours), with help coming from a fourth character, Verdelle, a dog, whose pivotal role in the narrative is easily overlooked (standing in the same cinematic tradition as Toto of "The Wizard of Oz"). By the end of the film, we are aware that the big issues in the character's lives are still to be totally overcome, but the process of resolution has begun as it should, with the characters each recognizing the dignity and worth of the others (and themselves).James L. Brook's delicate direction carefully avoids excessive sentimentalism and saccharine sweetness (though admittedly, it teeters perilously close to the edge at times), and results in one of the most charming and profound comedies of recent years."