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As Good as It Gets (1997)

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

Director:

James L. Brooks

Writers:

Mark Andrus (story), Mark Andrus (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,367 ( 248)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Timer the Dog ... Supporting Dog (as Timer)
Billy the Dog Billy the Dog ... Supporting Dog (as Billy)
Bibi Osterwald ... Neighbor Woman
Ross Bleckner Ross Bleckner ... Carl
Bernadette Balagtas ... 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:

Brace yourself for Melvin. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Old Friends See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,606,928, 28 December 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$148,478,011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$314,178,011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Harrelson read for the part of Simon. According to Harrelson, he "went too femme on it". The audition took place at Nicholson's house and Harrelson admits that he was nervous meeting him. See more »

Goofs

When Melvin, Carol and Spencer get in the cab to go to the hospital, the cab driver is completely different than the one in front of the emergency room. See more »

Quotes

Melvin Udall: I don't get this place. They make me buy a new outfit and let you in a housedress. I don't get it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Cop Out (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

YMCA
Written by Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo, and Victor Willis
Performed by The Village People (as Village People)
Courtesy of Scorpio Music Paris France & Mercury Records
By Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Simply great
19 September 2005 | by ODDBearSee 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.


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