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As Good as It Gets (1997)

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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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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,312 ( 34)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
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
Bernadette Balagtas ...
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:

A comedy from the heart that goes for the throat. 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

The MPAA originally rated this film R. It was reduced to PG-13 on appeal. See more »

Goofs

When Melvin, Carol and Spencer get in the cab to go to the hospital, the cab driver is completely different than the one in front of the emergency room. See more »

Quotes

Carol Connelly: Do you want to dance?
Melvin Udall: I've been thinking about that for a while.
Carol Connelly: [standing up] Well?
Melvin Udall: No.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

BALTIMORE
Written by Lover Patterson, Lewis Lebish, and Walter Coleman
Performed by The Drifters
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This almost all Oscar winner cast gives such a great performance that it makes it almost impossible not to love this movie in its entirety!
21 May 1999 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Directed by Oscar nominee James L. Brooks, the story written by Mark Andrus brings up not only very interesting characters but also very interesting issues. I have the video and enjoy watching it. The CD is great with music of Nat King Cole, Shawn Colkin. Outstanding acting by Helen Hunt (Mad About You, Twister) who won an Oscar for this role where she plays Carol Connelly, a single mother, working as waitress in Manhattan, New York. A single parent trying to cope with her work and paying medical bills for son Spencer Connelly, played by Jesse James (Message in a Bottle, The Gingerbread Men, Gods and Monsters). Jack Nicholson (A Few Good Men, Easy Rider, Witches of Eastwick) is Melvin Udall who is an obsessive compulsive. Nicholson also won an Oscar for his part. His obsessive compulsiveness has taken over his life and he is not able to live a normal life. Melvin Udall has tons of soap all organized in his medicine cabinet. He uses a bar of soap once and then throws it out. He will not step on a crack on the side walk but skips to the next block of concrete. When he goes to the restaurant he brings his own plastic fork, knife and spoon in a plastic bag. Udall uses plastic gloves to hold the dog and has all his office supply stacked and all color coordinated in his home/office. He eats at the same restaurant, sits at the same table, if someone is seating at his table he insults them to make them leave so that he has his table back, wants the same waiter Carol to wait on him, and takes forever to take a shower. He closes his door several times and counts how many times he has done it. As a writer who works at home I do understand Mr. Udall really well. Writers think somewhat like this: we like to be alone with ourselves in order to think. We have to go inside ourselves to produce good work. It is a very isolated world. We do not like to be bothered unless we are bored, or tired, in which case we want to communicate with the outside world for a brief period of time, then after one hour or so we want to go back inside ourselves again and be left alone. This is somehow like Melvin thinks. People think that he has nothing to do and they keep knocking at his door and he gets really aggravated about that. He is my favorite character in this movie, not to diminish the other ones. He is just so full on nuances that make him very entertaining. Helen's role is very, very, good and she did a really good job with it. Greg Kinnear (Sabrina) is Simon Bishop, the artist who is Udall's next door neighbor who finally has Melvin turning into a little more normal human being and he is there to teach him many life lessons. The supporting actors are great, you have Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) playing Frank Sachs, Simon's agent.

My favorite scenes: elementary school kids all in uniform screaming: "Wait! Melvin, wait"! Greg Kinnear imitating Melvin. Melvin and Caroll going to eat fresh rolls in the wee hours of the morning. When Melvin realizes that the dog is also skipping cracks on the sidewalk.

My favorite quote: "I am drowning here and you are describing the water." This is a nice story telling movie. I recommend it!


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