7.7/10
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487 user 156 critic

As Good as It Gets (1997)

A single mother/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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1,194 ( 197)

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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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...
...
...
...
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Beverly
...
Jackie
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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:

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:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a scene in Twister when there at the drive-in the movie playing is The Shining staring Jack Nicholson. Helen Hunt starred in Twister. See more »

Goofs

When Simon, Melvin and Carol go to Baltimore and Carol gets to drive while Simon is telling his story, the convertible has the roof down and its down when she says she'll pull over to give Simon her full attention, but when they pull over the roof is up. See more »

Quotes

Simon Bishop: Rot in hell, Melvin!
Melvin Udall: No need to stop being a lady. Quit worryin! You'll be back on your knees in no time!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Bob's Burgers: The Unnatural (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

SPANISH CASTLE MAGIC
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by 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

 
How to create something out of nothing? Ask Mark Andrus and Jim L. Brooks
19 April 2000 | by (Zagreb, Croatia) – See all my reviews

Really, how to make something original, fresh and odd out of absolutely nothing except a few characters? Using characters, only characters and nothing except characters. That's the simple formula Brooks uses in all of his work, but, for me, he has never created so much charm, warmth and sensibility as he did in `As good as it gets'.

Characters write the screenplay in this movie, and everything that happens - happens because of what they are. They are nothing special – they are ordinary people we meet in the street every day and that have the same problems a lot of other people have. This movie presents the example of how much you can pull out of that. And if that is written as well as it is in this case, not even a happy ending can bother you. Because, in real life, shown here, what is the end?

Everything is good and warm in this movie, everything is fresh and vivacious, understandable and well performed. Jack Nicholson brings one of the best performances of his career, that terrific Helen Hunt finally got a chance to show how skilfully an actor can connect naturalism with the laws of the camera performance, and Greg Kinnear shows the most convincing emotions coming from a gay character I've ever seen.

The relationships between the characters are created in the way that you can't predict anything that's going to happen, eventhough you know in advance what could come out of their mouth and what kind of attitude they'll have in a certain situation.

You can simply feel the progressive collaboration that occurred between Brooks and the actors and the mutual understanding they developed, and it's not often that you see that kind of artistic superstructure shining on the screen so much as it does here.

I find `As good as it gets' complexed, vital, intelligent, emotionally deep and studied, fresh, original, amusing, cheerful, funny, and one of the best films of 1997.


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