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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 (232 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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better June 8 2004
It's a fun movie to watch mainly for the way the lead characters interact with each other. It was missing cinematic aspects, but felt more like a play captured on film. The characters were rather poorly developed: why is Melivin such a rude, and obnoxiuos curmudgeon to begin with? His obsessive-compulsive behavior also is totally unnecessary except for the few eyebrows it raises at the restaurant. How did his transformation come about, I mean how did he really come to accept the dog other than that he was forced into taking him in? Too many unanswered questions - too many miraculous events for me. If I gloss over them there are moments in the film that are really funny. I judge the quality of a movie by asking if I'd like to see it again. In this case I won't mind seeing it one more time.
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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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As it Getts Dec 28 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed that movie the minute it came out. The copy I owned was mishandled and broken.... so I wanted to replace it
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5.0 out of 5 stars As Good as it Gets Dec 7 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 I finally found and brought home a little Griffon, I wanted to get some further insight into the physical movements of this breed - plus I have always loved the movie itself
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies April 15 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 who don't fit the usual molds of society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Starts off good, gains momentum April 15 2004
Lots of movies I liked pretty well the first time I saw them weren't nearly as appealing when I see them again some years later.
I recently saw this movie for the third time on DVD, and darn if it doesn't get more delicious every time.
The writing is so crisp it snaps. The acting is so pleasurable it's like being ring-side at a 3-ring circus. The direction, photography, set design, art direction, etc.
I hear often in recent reviews that Jack Nicholson is given roles where he gets, essentially, to play Jack Nicholson. This is not to imply that Jack is any flavor of heartless romance writer with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - but it means that the "Jack" we get to see in this movie seems a good guy to spend 2 hours with. Helen Hunt, Cuba Gooding, Jr and Greg Kinnear make perfect stand-ins for our desire to "hang out with Jack".
This is the movie that "Something's Gotta Give" desperately wants to be - yet this film exceeds that more recent work by pretty much every measurable marker.
I'll watch this film probably once a year as long as I live. The one time I saw Something's Gotta Give was enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Forgot Just How Great This Film Really Is... March 18 2004
This is by far the best romantic comedy I have ever seen, and I admit being a guy I haven't really seen that many. The thing that seperates this film from most is the power to make you bust out in laughter one second and wiping away tears the next. Jack Nicholson delivers my favorite performance of his career and deserved that Oscar, as did Helen Hunt in her best role. I truly think Greg Kinnear deserved the Oscar over Robin Williams in "Good Will Hunting." Jack was weirdly great, but Kinnear was so convincing as the soul of the movie, who helped mold others around him rather than changing himself or his past. Also, this movie has almost as many great quotes as Monty Python or the Princess Bride and thats really saying something. So, if you want to see an excellent movie for a nice romantic evening with someone special or if you just want to watch a movie that will have you cherishing it long after the fading bakery scene, buy this movie for the extremely worthy and reasonable price.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 4 days ago by Katsu
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
item as discribed
Published 12 days ago by M. E. De Costa
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
5.0 out of 5 stars "Come on in, and try not to ruin everything by being you."
...a beautiful character study.
...an Oscar-garnering comedy of 1997.
... Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by QUEEN_OF_EVERYTHING
5.0 out of 5 stars you should be made to touch my pubic hair
the part in the resteraunt where jack tells the adjacent table that they should be made to touch his pubic hair.........jack, baby, your beautiful
Published on July 6 2004 by chris_peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Jack
This is one of my favorite movies. I have and can watch it over and over again. I will go watch anything with Jack in it.
Published on June 16 2004 by Renna
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