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As Good as It Gets (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  25 December 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 214,051 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 469 user | 153 critic | 30 from

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



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 41 wins & 42 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 <>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


The couple Melvin insults at the restaurant in the beginning of the movie are played by Peter Jacobson and Lisa Edelstein, who would go on to star together in the TV show House M.D. (2004). See more »


When Carol walks in the rain to Melvin's apartment her bra strap is visible under her wet shirt. When she gets off the elevator she isn't wearing a bra. See more »


Simon Bishop: Lucky for you... you're here for rock-bottom. You absolute horror of a human being.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) See more »


Written & Performed by Van Morrison
Courtesy of Exile Productions/Polydor Ltd.
By Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simply great
19 September 2005 | by (Iceland) – See all my reviews

As Good As It Gets is one of those incredibly moving films that is also hugely entertaining. It's not just a comedy, you can't quite label it a drama piece, it just is what it is; simply great.

What works here so well are the actors and the script. Nicholson and Hunt both won Oscars and they're simply great but Kinnear is no less effective as Nicholson gay neighbour. Plus that dog is amazing as well. This film really relies on great performances and there's no shortage of that here.

As Good As It Gets is also remarkably well written. So well defined characters and completely involving, you quite simply grow to love them and sympathize with their plight. Nicholson's remarks are terrific, each one very quotable (personal fav; I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability).

Direction is first rate, Brooks made Terms of Endearment so it's well established that he's quite capable of making great films. As Good As It Gets is very nearly as good it gets.

39 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Sadly, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. MyMotleyCrew
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