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Opened in Theaters: Thursday, December 25th, 1997

Directed by James L. Brooks
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 2:19

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As Good As It Gets
Academy Award® Winner

strong language, thematic elements, nudity and a beating

Starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear...  View more >

A comedy from the heart that goes for the throat.

Academy Awards: Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Helen Hunt)
View more information about this movie >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  8 50 See Now! Percent
Good  2 13 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  6 38 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  0 0 Stay Away! Percent
16 Total Reviews

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
As Good As It Gets is the best movie yet! Helen Hunt did a perfect performance along with Greg Kinnear and Jack Nicholson. It will make you cry, but also laugh out loud. This is definetly 'as good as it gets!'

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
For a comedy the acting is very good. But the connection between Jack Nicholson and and Helen Hunt just does not make sense.

I feel the movie trys to set a theme in the begining but find it uncomfortable to watch. As the movie continues there are a few funny lines. Not worth to go out of your way to see.

Best to wait till it comes out in a video.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
James L. Brooks' best film to date (he also wrote/directed BROADCAST NEWS and TERMS OF ENDEARMENT). This film walks a perilous line between comedy and drama ...and succeeds! Jack Nicholson's performance alone is worth the price of admission, especially considering what a difficult role it is. He manages to make a most unsympathetic character quite touching and human. Couple that with the excellent performances from Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear, and you have one of the best movies of the year! Don't miss this one! You'll laugh, you'll cry ... you'll be glad you spent the 8 bucks!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
First of all...I really liked it. Now I must tell you that I went in to see this movie with a poor attitude, because I don't like Jack Nicholson movies (except for "A Few Good Men" and "Wolf"). Ever since I saw Jack in the "Shining", I have thought the guy was just too psycho. Well sure enough, I found that I now like a third Jack Nicholson movie and yes...this should be known as a "Jack Nicholson" movie. Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear were great in their respective parts, but Jack carried the day. The movie was funny in a most offensive way, serious in a very sad way, and bizarre in a Jack Nicholson way. Jack plays a guy who is just rude and offensive to everyone he meets, you feel sorry for him every so often, but those brief milliseconds pass and you go back to thinking he is just a jerk....but then even jerks have the potential for changing. Now any one of you who like to rip on others or those of you who all know a person like that, then this film is for you, but if any of you are on the receiving end of a person like this, then you'll even appreciate this film, because guess what...he does begin to change for the maybe there is hope. It is not surprising that Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both won Golden Globe awards for this film. You will definitely be glad you saw it, even if you are sitting there right now saying no way, well stop talking to yourself and go see will like it. Bottom line...if you are looking for a great movie this month, then this is "As Good As It Gets".

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This was a great movie! It was funny and touching. The performance was exceptional by all the actors. It was so enjoyable it did not seem like a 2 hour movie at all. You'll get to relate to all the characters and care about them as it you know them personally. Funny, touching, and fun. Go watch it.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
We had heard this movie was halarious, but my wife and I thought it was pretty good, but not all that funny. Jack Nicolson's performance was very, very good, and the story was unique. No reason to run out and pay 7 bucks for this one, but a very good rental.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I found "As Good As It gets" rather awkward and somewhat confusing. It just left me unsatisfied. The personalities of the characters altered too much and there wasn't much of a story line. Although it had many humorous scenes, "As Good As It Gets" was very overrated. One of the few things that made the movie somewhat enjoyable was Jack Nicholson's performance, which was pretty entertaining. However, it simply wasnot enough to increase the movie to a higher quality. It was confusing because there was almost no point to the movie. Personally, I was very surprised to find that this movie was rated so high. Send any comments in response to this review or any others to:

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Anyone who can say that this is not an entertaining movie has not ever tried to develop a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, or of the SAME sex, for that matter. Ol Jack isn't afraid to call a fag a fag, even if later he'll call him a friend. He calls Helen Hunt a dried up waitress, when that's what she is---He even has the guts to fire a Fido he doesn't especially care for. Honesty is what makes this movie work! Nobody in the movie ever lies. If the truth hurts, stay home and don't go to see this film. If you can accept the fact that there are some very weird folks running around in the world, and some of them are falling in love with each other, then maybe you're ready to check this out--and see how YOUR relationships might be just as precarious. Awards won by this jem are justly earned. MORE!!!

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I've seen better movies but it wasn't too bad. Worth seeing if you're really bored and want something to do.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
After viewing this movie not once or twice, but three times I must recommend you to see this movie soon. The melding of Jack into his Melvin character could be done by no one other than Jack. Helen is so remarkable in her natural everyday person that recalling her as a actress becomes difficult. You must look at the vital even though small part of her "mother". Just enough humor there!

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Not a bad show for the money, but definitely worth waiting for. I like Helen Hunt, admittedly a talented actress, better as Jamie Buckman, & Jack Nicholson is the same old-same old crude-but-somehow-lovable character he always seems to play. Nothing special here, unless you're a rabid Nicholson fan who has to see everything he does the moment he does it. Wait. It's cheaper (where do they get the prices they're charging for popcorn these days?) & you'll have just as good a time watching it from your favorite barca-lounger.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Every one of us knows the Jack Nicholson's character in this movie as well as the characters played by Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear ... in real life. We may even be one of them. That's why the movie holds the mirror up to us, opens an understanding for us, shames us and then, hugs us, telling us, it's okay ... so,we walk out warmly sad, sadly warm ... but warm ... go see it.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
The best scene in "As Good as it Gets" comes right at the point where Melvin's hate face breaks to his old, crinkly smile, as he witnesses the dog he was forced to keep loves him. Following this moment, we watch Melvin and the dog, Verdell, walk down the street. Since Melvin has his problems, he does his normal routine and steps over the cracks. Then, we look at the dog, who also jumps over the cracks. He picks up Verdell and tells him not to be like him; after he puts Verdell down he continues to jump the cracks.

I couldn't imagine any other actor dominating the role of Melvin than that of Jack Nicholson. This is his best work in years. Just the very look of him and the fact he can pull off this bastard, is tour de force.

Nicholson's Melvin starts out as a jerk. In the opening scene he throws Verdell down the garbage chute, tells off his gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear), an art painter and dealer, and then proceeds back into his perfect apartment, where he washes his hands with a soap bar once and then tosses it into the garbage.

Just look around Melvin's apartment, (which the film lets you do) and you can sense he is a perfectionist: the multiple locks which he locks in succession five times, the jars with the M and M's separated according to color, the tape case with every cassette perfectly stored away and assorted (I would like to meet any person besides Melvin that actually has all of their tapes sorted like that), the food in his fridge, and so on.

Melvin's usual business of the day is to eat breakfast at a restaurant, and the only person who can handle the jerk is Carol (Helen Hunt), a single, stressed out mother who has a very sick and asthmatic son.

Then in comes the dog, Verdell. After Simon is brutally attacked by a bunch of male prostitutes, Simon's partner (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) forces him to take the mutt. A slow realization follows as Melvin comes to love the dog (as in the sidewalk scene I mentioned before). Then he slowly becomes good, where he hires a live-in doctor for Carol's sick son and helps Simon back to health.

I love a movie where there is a good laugh in almost every scene. "As Good as it Gets" is this kind of movie, where the movie is hilarious, touching and sweet. I cared for every character on screen, since every one had their own little world. The one that snuck up on me the most was that of Simon, who seemed sort of mean himself, but we realize, after finding out his father beat him after finding out he was painting nude pictures of his mother, that he is a sensitive and hurt man just like Melvin is.

There are minor flaws in the movie, such as the scene where Melvin agrees to take Simon and Carol all the way to the Hamptons to help Simon get some money from his parents; all that Simon does is sit in a hotel room to make phone calls. He doesn't even bother to wander over to their house. Also, the film makes a use out of dragging scenes just a little too long, as if to stetch out the 138 minute running time. Bad framing of shots is also rampant in the film, too.

Yet the film is sweet and charming. Directed by the great James L. Brooks, who has directed the wonderful "Terms of Endearment", "As Good as it Gets" is pure joy from a major studio company that doesn't seem to want to make movies like this anymore.

Grade: A-

Tech Review

Picture: 3 A middling picture, many grainy scenes that seem to have been filmed with 16MM or Super 8, for that matter (just watch the before mentioned sidewalk scene)

Sound: 2 A harsh and very annoying sound mix. This totally mono film has dialogue that is hard to hear, a lot of hiss, and a thin sounding music score (which is great) which hides behind the center channel. Oh well.

Photography: 1 I'm not going to give Brooks slack this time around. He just can't frame a shot. In wide 1.85:1, he inconsistently frames every shot to make it too high, too low, too wide, too narrow. There are tons of head shots where there are meters of dead space above the character's heads, while their mouths are just scratching the bottom of the frame. Perhaps open the film up to Super 35 and get a better framer. Like me.

138 minutes. ICQ#4339199

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
If you're a Jack Nicholson fan, you're in luck. Great performances by actors all around. Quirky plot, yet interesting, funny and heart-warming. I enjoyed this movie and recommend you see it -- even if you wait for the home video version.

[--- See Now! ---]by VIP MemberAug 31, 2006
"As Good As It Gets" featured two brilliant performances from Jack Nicholson and Helen. The story is about two people who are trapped in a world which they can't control. this is very wonder and touching comedy about two people who had to put up with each other.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  May 27, 2012

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