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As Good as It Gets (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  25 December 1997 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 210,847 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 468 user | 153 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

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

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: As Good as It Gets (1997)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 41 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Vincent
...
Beverly
...
Jackie
...
Nora
...
Verdell (as Jill)
Timer the Dog ...
Supporting Dog (as Timer)
Billy the Dog ...
Supporting Dog (as Billy)
Bibi Osterwald ...
Neighbor Woman
Ross Bleckner ...
Carl
...
Caterer
Jaffe Cohen ...
Partygoer
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Storyline

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brace yourself for Melvin. See more »

Genres:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Old Friends  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$147,637,474 (USA) (19 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene the dog starts mimicking Jack Nicholson by stepping over the cracks in the sidewalk. The filmmakers accomplished this by placing little obstacles on the cracks so that the dog had to step over them. They then removed the obstacles digitally in post-production. See more »

Goofs

The style of knot in Melvin's tie keeps changing when he's having dinner with Carol at the seafood restaurant. See more »

Quotes

Receptionist: I can't resist! You usually move through here so quickly and I just have so many questions I want to ask you. You have no idea what your work means to me.
Melvin Udall: What does it mean to you?
Receptionist: [stands up] When somebody out there knows what it's like...
[place one hand on her forehead and the other over her heart]
Receptionist: ... to be in here.
Melvin Udall: Oh God, this is like a nightmare.
[Turns around and presses the elevator button multiple times]
Receptionist: Oh come on! Just a couple of questions. How hard is that?
[Scampers up to Melvin]
Receptionist: How...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In cast credits dogs are credited as: Verdell - Jill Supporting dogs - Timer, Billy See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Stars: Mothers & Brothers (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

SPANISH CASTLE MAGIC
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by The Spin Doctors (as Spin Doctors)
Courtesy of Reprise Records/M.C.P. Productions
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A superior Hollywood piece of sentimentality
27 January 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Melvin is a romantic novelist who is a selfish manic compulsive who is rude and insulting to all he meets. When Melvin's gay neighbour is beaten up and robbed, Melvin agrees to look after his dog. The dog gives Melvin something to care about other than himself and his life is approaching normal until his regular waitress has to leave work to look after her asthmatic son and his neighbour wants his dog back. Melvin starts to realise that his life needs others for more than just selfish reasons.

The big Oscar winner for Jack is recent years is enjoyable if you come to it knowing what to expect. The film is very sentimental but in a good way. The film is gently comic and amusing and the characters (although exaggerated) are winning and involving. The telling is a little long winded at times and the film could have been shorter but it is still enjoyable. It does tip over into sickly sentimentality at times and can be a bit syrupy but it comes with the territory.

Nicholson is excellent and is the main reason it all works well. His un-PC Melvin is funny but also a character that you can hate and pity on several occasions. Kinnear is good because he is a solid understated character and not hammy or OTT like he can be. Hunt is good but is left with the majority of the syrup and sentiment where the other characters get more share of the laughs. Gooding Jr continues his trend of being good in over the top roles and is funny and happily avoids becoming a flaming gay stereotype.

Overall this is a sentimental romantic comedy that is typical for the genre. The story wanders to it's point but the good cast, led by a great Nicholson, hold the whole thing together. A superior piece of sentimentality.


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