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As Good as It Gets (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  25 December 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 214,210 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 469 user | 153 critic | 30 from

A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is in an accident.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 41 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Verdell (as Jill)
Timer the Dog ...
Supporting Dog (as Timer)
Billy the Dog ...
Supporting Dog (as Billy)
Bibi Osterwald ...
Neighbor Woman
Ross Bleckner ...
Jaffe Cohen ...


New York City. Melvin Udall, a cranky, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive writer, finds his life turned upside down when neighboring gay artist Simon is hospitalized and his dog is entrusted to Melvin. In addition, Carol, the only waitress who will tolerate him, must leave work to care for her sick son, making it impossible for Melvin to eat breakfast. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A comedy from the heart that goes for the throat. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for strong language, thematic elements, nudity and a beating | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Old Friends  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,606,928 (USA) (26 December 1997)


$147,637,474 (USA) (19 June 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Udall's response to the question about how he writes women is an actual response given by author John Updike when asked the same question. See more »


When Melvin puts on the plastic gloves and is going to pick up Verdell, the glove on his right hand is pulled up to almost his wrist, in the next shot as he's actually picking Verdell up, you can see the glove is only partially on and the fingers of the glove are hanging off his hand. See more »


Melvin Udall: I need you to chaperone separate everything but cars you said you liked convertibles now I'm on the hook
Carol Connelly: I'm sorry, "stiff one eye ?", I can't, I work
Melvin Udall: You get off when you want to
Carol Connelly: My son
Melvin Udall: The vet says his doing fine
Carol Connelly: I'd rather not
Melvin Udall: What's that got to do with it?
Carol Connelly: Funny, I thought it strong point
Melvin Udall: "Write a note isn't she sweet?" I need a hand and where'd she go?
Carol Connelly: Your saying accepting your help obligates me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just after the disclaimer of the American Humane Association (The animals used in this film were in no way mistreated...) there is a second disclaimer stating "The actors used in this film were in no way mistreated." See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.160 (2012) See more »


Written by Phil Roy and Peter Blakeley
Produced by Phil Roy
Performed by Danielle Brisebois
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

16 March 2002 | by (Ljubljana, Slovenia) – See all my reviews

Now I know what good acting means. You are absolutely surrounded with it in this movie. There is not a single actor or actress in this movie that didn't exceed himself/herself. Helen Hunt is great (I don;t know why, but I find her quite attractive) and I won't bore you about the performance given by Jack Nicholson. When I first saw this movie I thought it was really boring and overrated, but I saw it again the second day and immediately loved it. Maybe the ending is a little bogus, but it's a romantic comedy, so it didn't bother me that much. A fairly complicated plot presented with ease and simplicity works perfectly and there's a nostalgic tone to the movie in whole. Maybe because it's a rare occasion nowadays to come across a movie that isn't stuffed with special effects. This is a movie that should be seen on a beautiful day, when you're in a good mood.

Great fun that keeps getting better and better each time I see it. A strong 8/10.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Sadly, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. MyMotleyCrew
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