IMDb > As Good as It Gets (1997)
As Good as It Gets
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As Good as It Gets (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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As Good as It Gets -- A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   196,320 votes »
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Up 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Mark Andrus (story)
Mark Andrus (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for As Good as It Gets on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1997 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Brace yourself for Melvin. See more »
Plot:
A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is in an accident. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 37 nominations See more »
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! See more (454 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nicholson ... Melvin Udall

Helen Hunt ... Carol Connelly

Greg Kinnear ... Simon Bishop

Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Frank Sachs

Skeet Ulrich ... Vincent

Shirley Knight ... Beverly

Yeardley Smith ... Jackie

Lupe Ontiveros ... Nora

Jill the Dog ... 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
Laurie Kilpatrick ... Partygoer

Alice Vaughn ... Partygoer

Brian Doyle-Murray ... Handyman
Kristi Zea ... Mother at Table
Annie Maginnis Tippe ... Daughter at Table
Patricia Childress ... Cafe 24 Waitress

Rebekah Johnson ... Cafe 24 Waitress

Missi Pyle ... Cafe 24 Waitress

Leslie Stefanson ... Cafe 24 Waitress

Tara Subkoff ... Cafe 24 Waitress

Shane Black ... Cafe 24 Manager

Peter Jacobson ... Man at Table

Lisa Edelstein ... Woman at Table
Stan Bly ... Cafe 24 Customer

Randall Batinkoff ... Carol's Date

Jesse James ... Spencer Connelly

Jamie Kennedy ... Street Hustler
Justin Herwick ... Street Hustler

Maya Rudolph ... Policewoman

John F. O'Donohue ... Detective Ray
David A. Kipper ... Hospital Doctor

Mary Elizabeth Still ... Nurse Receptionist
Chloe Brooks ... Child at Cafe 24
Cooper Brooks ... Child at Cafe 24
Sharon L. Alexander ... Female Passerby
Holly Denys ... Female Passerby

Lawrence Kasdan ... Dr. Green
Alison Rose ... Psychiatric Patient

Kathryn Morris ... Psychiatric Patient

Wood Harris ... Cafe 24 Busboy

Linda Gehringer ... Publisher

Julie Benz ... Receptionist

Harold Ramis ... Dr. Bettes

Antonia Jones ... Nurse

Kaitlin Hopkins ... Woman in Lobby

Jimmy Workman ... Sean from the Bakery

Danielle Spencer ... Veterinarian

Todd Solondz ... Man on Bus

Tom McGowan ... Maitre D'

Danielle Brisebois ... Singer

Matt Malloy ... Men's Store Salesman

Paul Greenberg ... Bar Waiter
Kirk Ringberg ... Food Waiter
Dave Hawthorne ... Bartender
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roger Ferreira ... Restaurant Patron

Ava Lee Scott ... New Yorker (as Alba Albanese)

Amy Anzel ... Ballet Dancer (uncredited)

Alex Ballar ... Flower Store Customer (uncredited)
Joe Beachy ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Jason Thomas Campbell ... Valet (uncredited)

Bronwyn Cornelius ... Bartender (uncredited)

Dunya Djordjevic ... Art Dealer (uncredited)
Eddie L. Fauria ... NYC Transit Cop (uncredited)
James Gosnell ... Boyfriend (uncredited)
Daniel D. Harris ... Upscale Restaurant Diner / Dancer (uncredited)
Eliza Harris ... Ballet Dancer (uncredited)

Maurice LaMarche ... Fred Bishop - Simon's Dad on Phone (voice) (uncredited)

Laura Mayes ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Nicole Salter ... Not Credited (uncredited)
Frank Slaten ... Miffed Partygoer (uncredited)

Oriana Nicole Tavoularis ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)

Justin Ward ... Diner (uncredited)
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Directed by
James L. Brooks 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Mark Andrus (story)

Mark Andrus (screenplay) and
James L. Brooks (screenplay)

Produced by
James L. Brooks .... producer
Bridget Johnson .... producer
Maria Kavanaugh .... associate producer
Laurence Mark .... executive producer
Richard Marks .... co-producer
Aldric La'auli Porter .... associate producer (as Aldric Porter)
Richard Sakai .... executive producer
John D. Schofield .... co-producer
Owen Wilson .... associate producer
Kristi Zea .... producer
Laura Ziskin .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Hans Zimmer 
 
Cinematography by
John Bailey (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Richard Marks (edited by)
 
Casting by
Francine Maisler 
 
Production Design by
Bill Brzeski 
 
Art Direction by
Philip Toolin 
 
Set Decoration by
Clay A. Griffith 
 
Costume Design by
Molly Maginnis (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Carrie Angland .... makeup artist
Linda Arnold .... hair supervisor
Stacye P. Branche .... makeup artist: for Mr. Gooding (as Stacye Branché)
Michèle Burke .... makeup supervisor (as Michele Burke)
Michael Germain .... makeup artist: for Mr. Nicholson (as Perry Michael Germain)
Linda Grimes .... makeup artist: for Mr. Nicholson, New York
Darrell Redleaf-Fielder .... hair stylist: for Ms. Hunt (as Darrell Fielder)
Allen Weisinger .... makeup artist: New York
Joy Zapata .... hair stylist: for Mr. Nicholson
Jeffrey S. Farley .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Tom Irvin .... makeup effects (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Amy Herman .... unit production manager: New York
Jake Jacobson .... unit production manager (as John Adam Jacobson)
John D. Schofield .... unit production manager
Denise Sirkot .... executive in charge of production: Gracie Films
Chantal Feghali .... post-production supervisor (uncredited)
Tamara Smith .... post-production supervisor (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hans Berggren .... dga trainee
William M. Connor .... second assistant director
Shari Nicotero .... second second assistant director (as Shari Hanger)
Susan Perlman .... dga trainee: New York
Aldric La'auli Porter .... first assistant director (as Aldric Porter)
 
Art Department
Rochelle S. Allen .... art department assistant
Philip Canfield .... leadman: New York (as Phil Canfield)
Teresa Carriker-Thayer .... art director: New York
Martin Charles .... graphic designer
Gary Deaton .... construction coordinator (as Gary L. Deaton)
Robert Griffon Jr. .... property master: New York (as Bobby Griffon)
Bart C. Hubenthal .... set dresser
Jacqueline Jacobson Scarfo .... set decorator: New York (as Jacqueline Jacobson)
Todd Jacques .... set dresser
Scott G. Jones .... set dresser
Jeff Machala .... assistant property master (as Jeffrey Machala)
John Maskovich .... set dresser (as John D. Maskovich)
Masako Masuda .... assistant art director
John Hammer Maxwell .... set dresser (as John H. Maxwell)
John Naehrlich .... lead man
Gary Rizzo .... set dresser
Brana Rosenfeld .... assistant set decorator
Ivy Shapiro .... art consultant
Billy Sullivan .... artwork: by Simon's
Mark Wade .... property master
Salvador Anaya .... plasterer (uncredited)
Conny Boettger .... art department coordinator (uncredited)
William Boyd .... general foreman (uncredited)
Chris Buchinsky .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Thomas Cooper .... propmaker (uncredited)
Cosmas A. Demetriou .... set designer (uncredited)
Jann K. Engel .... set designer (uncredited)
Janice Irwin .... art department coordinator: New York City (uncredited)
Robert E. Knight .... paint foreman (uncredited)
Mark Kudra .... set dresser (uncredited)
Brick Mason .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Tony Miller .... lead plaster foreman (uncredited)
Rosalie Russino .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Louis Zamora .... labor foreman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Ron Bartlett .... re-recording mixer
George Campos .... apprentice sound editor
Matt Colleran .... recordist
Don Coufal .... boom operator
Dennis Drummond .... supervising sound editor
Kim Drummond .... dialogue editor (as Kim Haves)
Patrick Drummond .... sound effects editor
Richard Duarte .... foley mixer
Kira Edmunds .... assistant sound editor
Christopher Flick .... foley editor
David Giammarco .... supervising sound editor
Jeff Gomillion .... adr mixer (as Jeff Gomillian)
Galen Goodpaster .... first assistant sound editor
Gary Holland .... cable
Spike Allison Hooper .... adr assistant
Chris Jenkins .... re-recording mixer
Darren King .... dialogue editor
Kathleen King .... boom operator: New York
Jonathan Klein .... foley editor
Nicholas Vincent Korda .... adr editor
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist (as Andy Malcom)
Cindy Marty .... sound effects editor
Rob Nokes .... sound editorial technical support: Sound Dogs, Inc.
Thomas J. O'Connell .... adr mixer
Rudy Pi .... recordist
Joe Schiff .... adr assistant
Mark Smith .... re-recording mixer
Renee Tondelli .... adr supervisor (as Renée Tondelli)
Jerome R. Vitucci .... sound mixer: New York (as Jerome Vitucci)
Bill Ward .... assistant sound editor
Jeff Wexler .... sound mixer
Mark Yardas .... dialogue editor
Nigel Bunyan .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
Benjamin Cheah .... sound effects recordist (uncredited)
Kevin Globerman .... second sound engineer (uncredited)
Bruno Roussel .... assistant sound engineer (uncredited)
Gregg Silk .... second sound engineer (uncredited)
John Soukup .... sound transfer (uncredited)
Claudine Ward .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Bill Doane .... special effects coordinator (as William B. Doane)
Al Griswold .... special effects coordinator: New York (as Albert Griswold)
Harold McConnell Jr. .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Megan Brown .... texture animator: SPI
Suzy Brown .... texture animator: SPI
Mark Dornfeld .... digital visual effects: Buena Vista Imaging
Lisa Kahatriya .... rotoscoper: SPI
John Ly .... technical assistant: SPI
Tim McGovern .... visual effects supervisor: SPI
George Merkert .... visual effects producer: SPI
Hal Miles .... rotoscoper: SPI
Felix Ojeda .... compositor: SPI
Megan Omi .... compositor: SPI
Todd Pilger .... technical designer: SPI
Laurence Treweek .... lead technical supervisor: SPI
Guy Wiedmann .... visual effects editor: SPI
Brian Allan .... optical camera (uncredited)
Peter Anderson .... visual effects photography (uncredited)
Jason Dost .... digital scanner operator (uncredited)
Anthony Harris .... timing coordinator: SPI (uncredited)
Bernice Howes .... visual effects vendor producer (uncredited)
Dean Lyon .... compositing supervisor (uncredited)
Paul Taglianetti .... digital effects producer: Caliban Filmworks (uncredited)
 
Stunts
BJ Davis .... NYC 2nd Unit/Aerial stunt coordinator
BJ Davis .... stunts (as B.J. Davis)
Ken Fritz .... stunt coordinator
Bryce Gregory .... stunts
Gene LeBell .... stunts (as Gene Le Bell)
Phil O'Dell .... stunts
Denise Lynne Roberts .... stunts
Felipe Savahge .... stunts
Walter Scott .... stunt coordinator
Chester E. Tripp III .... stunts (as Chester Tripp)
Pete Turner .... stunts
BJ Davis .... stunt double: Jack Nicholson (uncredited)
Julia Davis .... assistant stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Julia Davis .... stunt double: Helen Hunt (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Greg Addison .... chief lighting technician: New York
James Bartolomeo .... second assistant camera: New York
David Burnett .... assistant chief lighting technician (as David R. Burnett)
Mike Connors .... dolly grip (as Michael Connors)
Steve Craft .... "b" camera second assistant
John Dolan .... key grip: New York
Jeff Hand .... "b" camera first assistant: New York
Michael M. Krevitt .... key grip
Gábor Kövér .... "b" camera operator: New York (as Gabor Kover)
Michael Martinez .... second assistant camera
Mike Moyer .... chief lighting technician
Ralph Nelson .... still photographer
Paul Plannette .... "b" canera first assistant
Al Rodgers .... "b" camera second assistant: New York
Michael Stone .... camera operator
Donald E. Thorin Jr. .... first assistant camera
Demmie Todd .... still photographer: New York
Rick Tschudin .... "b" camera operator
Richard Turner .... "b" camera operator
Thomas D. Wazney .... best boy grip
John Baer .... still photographer: New York re-shoots (uncredited)
Mike Bonnaud .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Chuck Cohen .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Xiomara Comrie .... second assistant camera: "a" camera, second unit (uncredited)
Eric Vincent Cruse .... grip (uncredited)
Mike Gerzevitz .... electrician (uncredited)
Oscar Gomez .... best boy rigging grip (uncredited)
Scott Graves .... gaffer (uncredited)
Mark Gutterud .... assistant camera: dog unit (uncredited)
David Katz .... video assist operator (uncredited)
Bob Leitelt .... key grip: additional photography (uncredited)
Hugh McCallum .... additional rigging grip (uncredited)
Kevin McKenna .... video assist operator (uncredited)
David Norris .... camera operator: Wescam (uncredited)
Douglas Pellegrino .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Jeff Pelton .... camera loader (uncredited)
Chris Rosen .... electrician (uncredited)
Chis Rountree .... grip (uncredited)
Ralph Scherer .... key grip: second unit (uncredited)
Sam Urdank .... still photographer: additional photography, Los Angeles (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Kathryn Eisenstein .... casting associate (as Katherine Eisenstein)
Karen E. Etcoff .... extras casting: New York
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Daniel J. Adkins .... costume supervisor: New York
Donna D. Casey .... assistant costume designer
James Lapidus .... costumer (as James Henry Lapidus)
Elaine Ramires .... wardrobe supervisor (as Elena Del Rio)
Heidi Shulman .... costume supervisor: New York
Mary Elizabeth Still .... costumer
Debbie Travis .... costumer: to Mr. Nicholson (as Deborah Travis)
Philip Maldonado .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
John Bickford .... dailies timer
Gena Bleier .... assistant editor
Laura Congleton .... assistant editor (as Laura H. Congleton)
Jeffrey Ford .... first assistant editor (as Jeff Ford)
Dale E. Grahn .... color timer
Heather Hughes .... assistant editor
Lori C. Ingle .... associate editor
Marisa Morabito .... editorial production assistant
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Hilary Schroeder .... assistant editor
Tony Solomons .... assistant editor
Sarah Thiessen .... assistant editor (as Sarah K. Thiessen)
John Scott Cook .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Dale Jones .... avid technician (uncredited)
Eric Rigney .... avid technician (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor (as Sandy De Crescent)
Chris Douridas .... song consultant
Bruce Fowler .... orchestrator (as Bruce L. Fowler)
Harry Gregson-Williams .... music conductor
Zigmund Gron .... music editor
Michael Lang .... soloist: Melvin's piano (as Mike Lang)
Alan Meyerson .... score mixer
Alan Meyerson .... score recordist
Rupert Nadeau .... assistant music editor
Jeffrey Pollack .... music supervisor
Lucas Richman .... music conductor
Adam Milo Smalley .... music editor (as Adam Smalley)
Marc Streitenfeld .... technical score advisor
Nico Abondolo .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Philip Ayling .... musician: oboe (uncredited)
Marc Caruso .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Brian Dembow .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Steve Erdody .... musician: cello solo (uncredited)
Walt Fowler .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Jo Ann Kane .... music preparation (uncredited)
Jim Kanter .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Katie Kirkpatrick .... musician: harp (uncredited)
Armen Ksajikian .... musician: cello solo (uncredited)
Claude Letessier .... consultant: musical score (uncredited)
Brian L. McCarty .... music coordinator (uncredited)
Ladd McIntosh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Yvonne S. Moriarty .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Ralph Morrison .... musician: violin (uncredited)
David Riddles .... musician: bassoon (uncredited)
James Walker .... musician: flute (uncredited)
Hans Zimmer .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Vince del Castillo .... transportation captain (as Vincent Del Castillo)
Pat King .... transportation co-captain: New York
Richard McLaughlin .... transportation co-captain
Edward O'Donnell .... transportation captain: New York (as Eddie O'Donnell)
Mike Storc .... transportation (uncredited)
Scotty Goudreau .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Trish Adlesic .... assistant location manager: New York (as Patricia Adlesic)
Chad Ahrendt .... production assistant
Petra Alexandria .... assistant: to Mr. Mark
Declan Baldwin .... location manager: New York
Nathan Barr .... assistant: to Mr. Zimmer
Raymond W. Beal .... animal trainer
Stacey Berns .... assistant: to Ms. Hunt
Brian Black .... production assistant
Bruce A. Block .... special consultant (as Bruce Block)
Arthur L. Brody .... psychiatric consultant (as Dr. Arthur L. Brody M.D.)
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot: New York
S. Todd Christensen .... assistant location manager (as Todd Christensen)
Ralph Coleman .... location manager
George Davis .... production secretary (as George A. Davis)
Matilda de Cagny .... animal trainer (as Mathilde DeCagny)
Deirdre Donohue .... production coordinator: New York (as Deirdre Cook)
Stephen Douglas .... additional artwork: by Film Art, L.A.
Alex Fernández .... production assistant: New York
Pablo Ferro .... designer: main title
Giela Fredman .... assistant accountant
Susanna Horng .... production secretary: New York
Karen R. Jones .... unit publicist
David A. Kipper .... medical consultant (as Dr. David A. Kipper)
Diane Krakower .... assistant: to Mr. Nicholson
Karen Maidment .... psychiatric consultant
Andy Mensing .... production assistant: New York
Eric Mention .... production assistant
Scott R. Meyers .... production assistant (as Scott Meyers)
Scott R. Meyers .... production assistant: New York (as Scott Meyers)
Debbie Modrow .... assistant: Mr. Kinnear
Brendan Murphy .... assistant: to Mr. Brooks
Moanike'ala Nakamoto .... assistant: to Mr. Zimmer
Felicia Nalivansky .... assistant: to Mr. Sakai
John Nava .... additional artwork
Chris Palzis .... production assistant
Kristen Ploucha .... production assistant
Ray Quiroz .... script supervisor (as Raymond Quiroz)
Mike Revell .... production accountant: New York (as Michael J. Revell)
Marge Rowland .... production accountant (as Marguerite Rowland)
Jason Rubenstein .... production assistant: New York
Sanjaya Saxena .... psychiatric consultant (as Dr. Sanjaya Saxena M.D.)
Miriam Schapiro .... assistant production coordinator: New York
Roger Schumacher .... head animal trainer
Joan Semmel .... additional artwork by
John Shaw .... production assistant: New York
Richard Shebairo .... loaner: artwork
Bronwyn Shepperson .... assistant: to Mr. Schofield
Ted Sroka .... production assistant
Shawn Suttles .... assistant: to Mr. Gooding
Michael Tubre .... production assistant
Derek Wade .... assistant production office coordinator (as Derek M. Wade)
Chad Woelki .... production assistant
Yvonne Yaconelli .... production office coordinator
David Yang .... assistant: to Ms. Johnson
Tamsin Anstey .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Crista Birgy .... second assistant accountant (uncredited)
Mike Bodkin .... intern (uncredited)
Judith M. Brown .... studio teacher (uncredited)
Justin Caine Burnett .... assistant: Mr. Zimmer (uncredited)
Neil Clark .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Faith Conroy .... script supervisor: second unit (uncredited)
Kathleen Corgan .... location scout (uncredited)
Bronwyn Cornelius .... assistant: John D. Schofield (uncredited)
Susie Fallon .... assistant locations: New York (uncredited)
Paul D. Fischer .... production assistant (uncredited)
Stefan Gesek .... location assistant (uncredited)
Jack E. Herman .... extras set coordinator (uncredited)
Tom Lackey .... location scout (uncredited)
Christopher Lee .... key assistant location manager (uncredited)
Eric Mansur .... assistant: Laurence Mark (uncredited)
John Michael Sudol .... production assistant (uncredited)
Chris Miller .... technical consultant (uncredited)
Matthew Moriarty .... production assistant (uncredited)
Michael Parks .... location manager: preparation (uncredited)
Vernon Rodriquez .... parking assistant (uncredited)
Jodi Shapera .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Debbie-Lynn Siegel .... payroll accountant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Julie Ansell .... special thanks to
Michael Besman .... special thanks to
Ted Bessell .... this film is dedicated to
Boo .... this film is dedicated to
Diane Brooks .... this film is dedicated to
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for strong language, thematic elements, nudity and a beating (re-rating on appeal)
Runtime:
139 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Austria:6 | Belgium:KT | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Chile:TE | Finland:K-12 | France:U | Germany:6 (bw) | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:L | Italy:T | Mexico:B | Netherlands:12 | Norway:11 | Peru:PT | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:PG13 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:PG-13 (certificate #35079) (re-rating on appeal) | USA:R (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Courtney Love turned down the role of Carol as she was recording the 'Celebrity Skin' album with her band Hole. She also felt she was too young for the part at the time.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Melvin removes his glasses twice while looking out of the window before seeing his publisher.See more »
Quotes:
Melvin Udall:I've got a really great compliment for you, and it's true.
Carol Connelly:I'm so afraid you're about to say something awful.
Melvin Udall:Don't be pessimistic, it's not your style. Okay, here I go: Clearly, a mistake. I've got this, what - ailment? My doctor, a shrink that I used to go to all the time, he says that in fifty or sixty percent of the cases, a pill really helps. I *hate* pills, very dangerous thing, pills. Hate. I'm using the word "hate" here, about pills. Hate. My compliment is, that night when you came over and told me that you would never...
[...]
See more »
Soundtrack:
EVERYTHING MY HEART DESIRESSee more »

FAQ

What is that song Vincent plays in Simon's studio?
What is the song Melvin plays in his car marked 'To Use As Icebreaker'?
What Breed of Dog is Verdell?
See more »
47 out of 75 people found the following review useful.
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
Author: Rosemea D.S. MacPherson from US

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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