7.7/10
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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
1,225 ( 392)
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

Verdell the dog, was played by six Brussels Griffons, named Timer the Dog, Sprout, Debbie, Billy the Dog, Parfait, and Jill the Dog. Jill was the star. See more »

Goofs

In the fancy restaurant, the singer in the background sings the same song twice. Once as they enter and again after Melvin returns with a jacket. See more »

Quotes

Carol Connelly: Come on in, and try not to ruin everything by being you.
Melvin Udall: Maybe we could live *without* the wisecracks.
Carol Connelly: Maybe we could.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just after the disclaimer of the American Humane Association (The animals used in this film were in no way mistreated...) there is a second disclaimer stating "The actors used in this film were in no way mistreated." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Last Man Standing: Take Your Daughter to Work (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

HAND ON MY HEART
Written & Performed by Judith Owen
Courtesy of Dram Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Way to go, Jack!
19 December 1998 | by Star-47See all my reviews

Jack Nicholson is simply phenomenal. Yes, I will give credit where it is due and congratulate Greg Kinnear, Helen Hunt, and Cuba Gooding, Jr, on their fine performances. They are talented. But I am mesmorized by Jack's intricate facial expressions and inflection each time I see this movie.

Critics panned this movie for being totally unbelievable. I would have to agree-why would Carol fall for Melvin? Why does Melvin change his ways after so many years of acid-tongued insults? I don't know. I know people who disliked the film because Melvin was such a you-know-what. Personally, I love the evil retorts he hurls at any innocent bystander. Maybe it's a sick pleasure, but Nicholson's delivery is perfect and I couldn't help but laugh as he takes on everyone.


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