7.7/10
234,193
482 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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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,356 ( 339)

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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
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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

Helen Hunt said that if you had to categorise the movie, it would be a romantic comedy. But that wasn't the original plan. Hunt said, "It arrived in the [footage] so we all went, 'Okay.'" See more »

Goofs

When Carol returns from the dinner with Melvin is dark night but when Simon rips his cast to draw her, there is light coming from the window in the back. See more »

Quotes

Melvin Udall: Just what the world needs, another actress.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.119 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

DAYS LIKE THIS
Written & Performed by Van Morrison
Courtesy of Exile Productions/Polydor Ltd.
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 (United Kingdom) – 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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