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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 assaulted in a robbery.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1,744 ( 30)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 49 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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Brace yourself for Melvin. 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
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Cuba Gooding Jr.; and three Oscar nominees: Greg Kinnear, Shirley Knight and Lawrence Kasdan. See more »


The position of the dog on the rug the first time he is going to eat in Melvin's apartment. First shot, he is on the edge of the carpet, next shot, back on the carpet, and next shot, on the edge of the carpet again. You can tell by looking at the color of the rug. See more »


Melvin Udall: I will tell you why the dog prefers me, now. It's a trick! I carry bacon.
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 Last Man Standing: Take Your Daughter to Work (2012) See more »


Written & Performed by Jane Siberry
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This comedy is as good as it gets!
14 February 1999 | by (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

Comedies (especially romantic comedies) can only be judged by how much they make you laugh and if they make you feel good inside. As Good As It Gets does it for me every time. I'm not just saying this on account of being a "Jack fan." The characters are so beautifully drawn, you forget it's just Jamie from "Mad About You" (Helen Hunt) and the man with the eyebrows (Nicholson). This movie deserved all of its Oscars, and then some. The role of an obsessive-compulsive is an easy one to parody and mock to death, but Jack does it with style, humour, emotion, and that usual Nicholson flair. Hunt has never been better as a waitress with a major anxiety to do something for herself for a change. Greg Kinnear is also very good as a gay artist that ends up having to turn to the irascible Jack for help after he is scarred and left destitute following a break-in. This is such a special comedy, fresh from the pen of James L. Brooks, the man behind the wonderful Terms of Endearment (another wonderful Nicholson performance) and Broadcast News. As Good As It Gets made me feel so good, even though I couldn't really relate to the characters' situations. The humor is pure Jack, set to the script with perfect ease. The emotions evoked by the actors are also authentic and heart-felt, as if they love what they are acting out. Movies like this come few and far between, and that is the reason why I appreciate this film so very much. As Good As It Gets was one of the best films of 1997. Rating: Four stars.

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Sadly, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. MyMotleyCrew
kickass lines wechulipaul
Helen Hunt's Oscar? payback122
Could There Have Been LESS Chemistry? arnomation
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder bentoncg
anyone here agree with melvin that.. j-rule
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