As Good as it Gets

views updated

As Good As It Gets ★★★ Old Friends 1997 (PG-13)

Entertaining and enjoyable outing from Brooks racked up an impressive list of Oscar noms (including Best Picture). Obsessive-compulsive romance novelist Melvin Udall (Nicholson) is also the meanest guy in New York, liked by nobody and hating all. The only exception is single-mother/waitress Carol (Hunt), who puts up with his annoying habits at the local restaurant where he dines.Forced to look after gay neighbor Kinnear's fussy-but-cute dog, Udall falls into an improbable quest for love, friendship, and a life as “normal as it gets” in this sort of extended-sitcom universe. Snappy dialogue by Brooks and co-writer Andrus, and an easy-going non-stereotypical performance by Kinnear are highlights, almost overshadowing both Hunt's Jodie Foster-like portrayal, and Nicholson's typical but delightful role (both of which won Oscars). 130m/C VHS, DVD . Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich, Shirley Knight, Yeardley Smith, Lupe Ontiveros, Bibi Osterwald, Brian Doyle-Murray, Randall Batinkoff, Shane Black, Missi Pyle, Tara Subkoff, Danielle Brisebois, Harold Ramis, Jimmy Workman; Cameos: Lawrence Kasdan, Todd Solondz, Tom McGowan; D: James L. Brooks; W: Mark Andrus, James L. Brooks; C: John Bailey; M: Hans Zimmer. Oscars '97: Actor (Nicholson), Actress (Hunt); Golden Globes '98: Actor—Mus./ Comedy (Nicholson), Actress—Mus./Comedy (Hunt), Film—Mus./Comedy; Natl. Bd. of Review '97: Actor (Nicholson), Support. Actor (Kinnear); Screen Actors Guild '97: Actor (Nicholson), Actress (Hunt); Writers Guild '97: Orig. Screenplay; Broadcast Film Critics '97: Actor (Nicholson).