7.7/10
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489 user 158 critic

As Good as It Gets (1997)

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

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,621 ( 341)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,606,928, 28 December 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$148,478,011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$314,178,011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The inside of Carol's apartment is a set, but they based it on a real apartment in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. See more »

Goofs

When Melvin and Carol walk past the bakery at the end of the movie, the lights come on and the staff in the bakery can be seen working. Before the lights came on, the staff must have been working in the pitch black. See more »

Quotes

Melvin Udall: [to Verdell the dog] Don't be like me. Don't you be like me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.22 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

YMCA
Written by Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo, and Victor Willis
Performed by The Village People (as Village People)
Courtesy of Scorpio Music Paris France & Mercury Records
By Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A superior Hollywood piece of sentimentality
27 January 2003 | by 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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