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As Good As It Gets (Widescreen)

Jack Nicholson , Helen Hunt , James L. Brooks    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

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For all of its conventional plotting about an obsessive-compulsive curmudgeon (Jack Nicholson) who improves his personality at the urging of his gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) and a waitress (Helen Hunt) who inspires his best behavior, this is one of the sharpest Hollywood comedies of the 1990s. Nicholson could play his role in his sleep (the Oscar he won should have gone to Robert Duvall for The Apostle), but his mischievous persona is precisely necessary to give heart to his seemingly heartless character, who is of all things a successful romance novelist. As a single mom with a chronically asthmatic young son, Hunt gives the film its conscience and integrity (along with plenty of wry humor), and she also won an Oscar for her wonderful performance. Greg Kinnear had to settle for an Oscar nomination (while cowriter-director James L. Brooks was inexplicably snubbed by Oscar that year), but his work was also singled out in the film's near-unanimous chorus of critical praise. It's questionable whether a romance between Hunt and the much older Nicholson is entirely believable, but this movie's smart enough--and charmingly funny enough--to make it seem endearingly possible. --Jeff Shannon

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You make me want to be a better man"... May 24 2004
Format:DVD
...if that wasn't one of the better, more memorable lines in any movie made in the 90's...
And that line encapsulates the story, which is essentially the story of an incredibly interesting, accomplished, and intelligent man who's fears dominate him to such an extent that the viewer sees the exact opposite through most of the film.
The movie documents the transformitive effect that human caring can have as an element of value in life that trancends the material. Nicholson plays a man who has the money, the success, the perfectly organized enviroment, but is completely devoid of companionship.
When introduced; as it is both in his relationship with his neighbor (through his beautiful dog...which happens to be a Brussels Griffon to anyone curious) or Helen Hunt, his waitress, the threat in needing companionship ushers all kinds of wild and comedic turmoil, but in the end...well, I won't spoil it for those who have yet to view.
And to that class of people, who have yet to see this film, count yourself lucky, it's a beautiful comedy about love, and it's power to help man triumph over fear. To those of you who have seen this and are considering buying the movie, I recommend you do. It's one of the few in my collection that I frequently watch and enjoy.
Christian Hunter
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Speaks for Itself April 14 2004
Format:DVD
Jack Nicholson has a certain character down pat, and has played that character with variations for the last decade. When Jack Nicholson plays obsessive-compulsive Melvin Udall, a reclusive writer with a routine so set that even the most minor deviation causes mental anguish, the results are continuously hilarious.
To be funny Jack requires other good actors, and in this movie Jack gets Helen Hunt as waitress and love interest Carol Connelly, Greg Kinnear as alternate lifestyle artist Simon Bishop, Cuba Gooding as Greg's agent Frank Sachs, and a wonderful little dog named Verdell.
As you would expect Melvin holds rigid opinions about everyone and everything. Fortunately he rarely has to interface with anyone at length, so his unreserved comments about others rarely offend others to the point where they refuse to deal with him, or worse, hit him. However, two events conspire to force Melvin to change.
First, Simon is beat up by a group of men robbing his house. Someone has to take care of Verdell the dog, and Melvin is forced into taking care of Verdell by Cuba Gooding. At first Melvin is completely unable to tolerate the dog, but the dog slowly wins Melvin over, putting a small chink into Melvin's curmudgeon armor.
The second event that upsets Melvin's rigid life is that Carol misses a day of work. Melvin must be served by Carol or his breakfast routine just is not right. Melvin finds Carol at her house and discovers that she is being kept at home by her sick son. Not letting anything stand in his way, Melvin arranges for a doctor to take care of Carol's son. As Melvin gets to know Carol better, her opinion of him starts to matter, and Melvin finds that he is falling in love with Carol. I leave the rest of this story to the viewer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why This Is My Favorite Movie As Of Late Jan. 2 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This really is as good as it gets when it comes to romantic comedy! While this movie may fall into the "sappy" category for true film aficionados, it manages to mix wry humor and legitimate drama with enough sentimentality to satisfy even the weepiest movie-goers. Unlike other films of its genre, As Good As It Gets has a point - a not-so-trite main idea that is simple yet profound. The fine characterization accomplished by the writers and a superb cast (Helen Hunt; Jack Nicholson, who admittedly does not stray far from his usual character; Greg Kinnear, whose work in a supporting role underscores the film's thematic content; and Cuba Gooding, Jr.)supports the theme that threads its way throughout the plot. Simon (Kinnear), the gay next-door-neighbor artist, articulates the idea in a considerably early portion of the film: "Have you ever looked at somebody who doesn't know they're being watched?...This flash comes over them...it's nothing external, because that hasn't changed. If you look at someone long enough, you discover their humanity."
This film is comforting to some because it glorifies the individual; it illuminates the humanity, and, ultimately, the beauty of everyday characters. (While the obssessive-compulsive romance writer may not be the most typical personality, many people can probably identify with individual crises, big and small, of Carol and Simon.) In the final scene, Melvin (Nicholson) gives a reminder of Simon's earlier reflections after singing the praises of Carol the waitress (Hunt): "I might be the only one who sees that you're the most wonderful woman in the world." It becomes clear that Melvin loves Carol for, above all, her humanity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best romantic comedies of the 90s! Nov. 16 2001
By Mike
Format:DVD
Not often is a romantic comedy so good that it attracts a huge audience of both women and men, but also walks away with a handful of academy awards.
"As Good As It Gets," starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in the roles that won them academy awards, is a bittersweet comedy that is both moving and very heartfelt.
Nicholson plays Melvin Udall, an obsessive-compulsive novelist living in a richly furnished Manhattan apartment. His fellow neighbors know him most for having a mean mouth and really getting on their bad sides.
Something must break Melvin of his obsessive-compulsive habits and his mean attitude toward others. That is where Helen Hunt's Carol Connelly comes in.
Carol is a waitress living with her mom and sick son, Spencer. She also happens to be Melvin's favorite waitress. Melvin gets up every morning, goes to breakfast, and orders the same exact, cholesterol-filled meal from Carol. He even brings his own plastic silverware to eat with.
One day, Carol doesn't show up to work, and Melvin throws a fit because something has changed in his everyday routine. He isn't going to be served by the SAME waitress. Melvin ends up getting thrown out for causing a scene.
Desperate for Carol to return to work, Melvin decides to have his publisher's husband, who is a real, caring doctor, go over to Carol's apartment to help control her son's asthma problems. He even asks to be billed for all medical visits. Is Melvin, say, changing for the better? Anyone can guess what will happen throughout the rest of this film.
Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks bring us a screenplay so rich, humorous, and touching in all aspects.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 1 day ago by diana marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Watched it over 10 times
Super funny, witty. Watched it over 10 times already. Love the story line.
Published 1 month ago by Katsu
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
item as discribed
Published 2 months ago by M. E. De Costa
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As it Getts
I enjoyed that movie the minute it came out. The copy I owned was mishandled and broken.... so I wanted to replace it
Published 8 months ago by A.L.Lacasse
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good as it Gets
For many years I had wanted a Brussels Griffon, and totally fell in love with the breed more after seeing this movie - and I really enjoy all movies with Jack Nicholson - so after... Read more
Published 9 months ago by L Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies
I cannot explain why exactly this movie resonates with me so much and is so funny. Perhaps because I've never quite "fit in" either and this story is all about character... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dobes Vandermeer
5.0 out of 5 stars You make me want to be a better man
As Good as It Gets (1997)
Comedy, Drama, Romance, 139 minutes
Directed by James L. Brooks
Starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear

As Good as... Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2012 by Steven Aldersley
5.0 out of 5 stars great reality check
Great movie with Jack Nickolson and Helen Hunt. I have seen the movie several times and decided there is enough reality in it that I should own it. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2011 by trollsonpatrol
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets
I find it hard not like Jack Nicholson movies. I learned to appreciate his skiii by watching Something's Gotta Give with Nancy Meyers comments ON. Read more
Published on July 14 2011 by Bud
2.0 out of 5 stars pretty boring........yup........boring........(snore)
I watched this movie twice. Both times it sucked. I thought maybe if I watched it a second time, I would have better luck, but no. Read more
Published on July 12 2004
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