7.7/10
262,455
522 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
869 ( 223)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
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
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man upon retirement, 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 6.2/10 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
The Pledge I (2001)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A retiring police detective pledges to catch the killer of a young child.

Director: Sean Penn
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Clarkson
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
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson
Wolf (1994)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Publisher Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) becomes a werewolf and has to fight to keep his job.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader
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
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 secretary.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
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
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:

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 »
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Melvin and Carol are in the restaurant in Maryland, the singer in the background is Danielle Brisebois, perhaps most recognisable for having played Archie and Edith's niece Stephanie on All in the Family (1971). The song she is singing is Fallen, which was the love theme from Pretty Woman (1990). See more »

Goofs

When Carl pulls his car over to the curb where the guys are standing he tells his friend over the speaker-phone "OK, I just found a model", but his mouth does not move. See more »

Quotes

Melvin Udall: Love that dog.
Simon Bishop: You don't love anything, Mr Udall.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Shiver (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hand on my Heart
Written & Performed by Judith Owen
Courtesy of Dram Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
When Jack's on screen, you can almost never go wrong!
1 August 2003 | by MovieLuvaMattSee all my reviews

Jack Nicholson is one of those actors who impresses me the second (and I'm not overstating in the least bit) he appears on screen. The moment I see Jack's face on screen, I get this feeling that everything's going to be all right. He could do a Pauly Shore film, and elevate its quality with his mere presence. And I didn't even get to his acting.

Nicholson won a well-deserved Oscar for this movie. Then again, I feel like he deserves an Oscar for virtually everything he's been in. Hell, you can even give him an Oscar nod for "Anger Management." THAT'S how great he is! He's one of those actors who can communicate even more emotion when he's not saying anything than when he is. And of course, he has one of the coolest movie star voices ever, so it makes it a joy whenever he does speak. I still feel like "You can't handle the truth!" wouldn't be as priceless a line if Jack didn't yell it. He can say almost any line of dialogue and turn it into gold. In this movie it was "You make me wanna be a better man." Again, an otherwise forgettable line of dialogue made gold by Jack.

"As Good As It Gets" is a flawed film, with scenes that drag and an overlong running time, but it's highly enjoyable and altogether pretty well-written. Aside from its many hilarious moments, it's also quite touching. But I have to admit that it's the comedy that sticks out most in my memory. There's some priceless gags like when a Jewish couple is sitting at Jack's usual table. He first intrudes into their conversation saying, "People who speak in metaphors oughtta shampoo my crotch." He complains to Helen Hunt, his usual waitress, saying "I have Jews at my table!" He then intrudes in the couple's conversation again, noticing the food on their table, saying "Obviously your appetites aren't as big as your noses." Now, I probably wouldn't want to personally know a man like Melvin in my real life, but I still found those cracks to be hysterically funny. The same when he attacks Greg Kinnear's gay character with constant homosexual slurs.

The performances are great all-around. Though Jack pretty much steals the show, Greg Kinnear gives a wonderfully endearing performance. He doesn't play out the gay stereotypes, yet he's sensitive and feminine enough to have me convinced that he is gay (unlike Eric McCormack on "Will and Grace" who acts like he's gay for the sake of the show's gimmick). It's nice to see Kinnear rise from the host of "Talk Soup" and the thankless late night talk show "Later" to a fine actor. Previously, I wouldn't have any notion that he could become what he is now. Helen Hunt also gives a compelling, emotionally packed performance. And Shirley Knight, as her mother, provides a little bit of comic relief. Cuba Gooding Jr. has a small but interesting role, and he makes the best of it.

The film does have its dull moments, but Jack's one-of-a-kind performance makes it all worthwhile. There is nobody, and I mean NOBODY, who could've played Melvin better than him. I read in the trivia that John Travolta was originally offered the role. Now, I like Travolta, but in this type of role he wouldn't hold a candle to Jack.

My score: 7 (out of 10)


54 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 522 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed