7.7/10
264,123
526 user 143 critic

As Good as It Gets (1997)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
812 ( 137)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.

Director: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A recently retired man embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding, only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dave Buznik is a businessman who is wrongly sentenced to an anger management program, where he meets an aggressive instructor.

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former colleague.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A man who has failed as a father and husband commits a heist to make money for his fledging business, but things become complicated when his wife interferes.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Stephen Dorff
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.

Director: George Miller
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon
The Graduate (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher

Photos

Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

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

When Carol is waving goodbye to her son, there is a reflection of camera equipment clearly visible in the window. See more »

Quotes

Simon Bishop: The best thing you have going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: As Bad as It Gets (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

You'll Always Be My Shining Star
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Nicholson
Produced by Hans Zimmer
Performed by Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Cuba Gooding Jr., Yeardley Smith, and Greg Kinnear
See more »

User Reviews

A superior Hollywood piece of sentimentality
27 January 2003 | by bob the mooSee 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.


81 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 526 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Old Friends See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,606,928, 28 December 1997

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 »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed