- Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear
- James L. Brooks
- Drama, Romantic Comedy
- Release date
- December 6, 1997
- Where to watch
- Vudu (rent or buy), Amazon Prime (rent or buy)
As Good as It Gets is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by James L. Brooks and starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear. The film tells the story of a misanthropic and obsessive-compulsive novelist named Melvin Udall who is forced to confront his own shortcomings when he forms an unlikely friendship with a waitress named Carol and his flamboyant artist neighbor Simon.
As Good As It Gets
The film is an excellent showcase of Nicholson’s already lauded acting ability as he delivers a captivating and hilarious performance as Melvin. Nicholson captures the essence of a man who is both lonely and unlikeable, tortured by his mental illness, while still making him as endearing as he is frustrating. Hunt’s performance as Carol is equally impressive, as she brings warmth and empathy to the role that balances Melvin’s abrasiveness. Unfortunately, Kinnear’s likable and vulnerable turn as Simon is often overshadowed by the two other leads, but he not only holds his own when sharing scenes with Nicholson, but he gives a sincere and touching performance that is the equal of, and often better than that of Hunt’s.
The film’s script is smart, economical, and often hilarious, with a sharp wit and a surprising amount of depth. The dialogue is fast-paced and clever, and the characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. The film’s themes of loneliness, obsession, and acceptance are handled with intelligence and sensitivity, and it never feels preachy or heavy-handed.
The film’s direction is equally impressive, with Brooks using a light touch to bring the story to life. The film is visually impressive, with excellent cinematography which is a great example of visual storytelling. The film’s soundtrack is also noteworthy, with a lush and emotional score that underscores the film’s themes and adds to the overall mood.
Overall, As Good as It Gets is a touching and entertaining film that is both funny and profound. With outstanding performances, a sharp script, and top-notch direction, this film is a true classic of the romantic comedy genre. Whether you are a fan of Nicholson, Hunt, or Kinnear, or simply enjoy well-made films, As Good as It Gets is a must-see.
If this movie was made today, many of us would assume that it was woke. The main character, a white guy is the one who has to learn how to live life from a woman and a gay man. However, while some of its themes are certainly progressive, the film isn’t preachy. It tells the story of a man who is deeply troubled who is taking it upon himself to be a better man. Sure, his motiviation in the begining is the power of boners, but in the end he learns how to love both his heart’s desire and (platonicly) his gay neighbor, and if it was made today they’d end up a throuple and Nicholson’s character would give a soliloquy about the superior virtues of homosexuals.
James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.