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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
1,724 ( 27)
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:

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 »
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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

When Melvin takes Simon soup, it is past 3am. In the next scene, Carol is up writing Melvin a thank-you letter on the same night; the clock reads 7.20, Spencer is still up, and Carol and her mother are just preparing to go out for the evening. See more »

Quotes

Melvin Udall: Hey, what I did for you... it's working out?
Carol Connelly: ...What you did changed my life.
[offers him the note]
Melvin Udall: No, no thank-you notes.
Carol Connelly: Well, part of what I said in this entire history of my life which you won't read is that somehow you've done more for my mother, my son and me, than anyone else ever has... And that makes you the most important, surprising, generous person I've ever met and that you be in our daily prayers forever. I also wrote one part... I wrote, "I'm sorry"... I was talking about I was ...
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

Featured in The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS (I LOVE YOU)
Written by Deek Watson and Willie Best (as William Best)
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole (as Nat King Cole)
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Products
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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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