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As Good As It Gets


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich
  • Directors: James L. Brooks
  • Writers: James L. Brooks, Mark Andrus
  • Producers: James L. Brooks, Aldric La'auli Porter, Bridget Johnson, John D. Schofield, Kristi Zea
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 1998
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (591 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767811100
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,235 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "As Good As It Gets" on IMDb

Special Features

Director and Cast Commentary

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and Cuba Gooding, Jr., star in James L. Brooks' hit comedy, As Good as it Gets. Nicholson gives a show-stopping performance as Melvin Udall, an obsessive-compulsive novelist with Manhattan's meanest mouth. But when his neighbor Simon is hospitalized, Melvin is forced to babysit Simon's dog. And that unexpected act of kindness, along with waitress Carol Connelly, helps put Melvin back in the human race.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

As good as it gets is a lovely movie. . . . . . . . . . . .
Rachel Robinson
Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt light up the screen with Superb acting performance, as well as Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Greg Kinnear.
Geraldine Ahearn
This was a movie that had a lot of humor, very good acting.
Joseph Sienko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Susan Fong on July 21, 2004
Format: DVD
"As Good As It Gets" is a rarity among today's movies, a truly witty and poignant romantic comedy with an unusual protagonist. That protagonist is Melvin, played with relish by Jack Nicholson. Melvin is a highly successful novelist who is also an abrasive misanthrope suffering from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Not your typical hero for sure!)

As one would expect, Melvin is a recluse and resistant to any changes in his life until he is forced to interact with a down-on-his-luck gay neighbor, Simon, portrayed by Greg Kinnear, and Simon's perky little pet pooch, Verdell. Melvin also becomes reluctantly involved with the pretty and patient waitress Carol, played by Helen Hunt, who serves him breakfast every day at a local cafe. Other than Carol, none of the other cafe's employees will deal with the impossible Melvin.

When Carol abruptly quits her job, Melvin tracks her down and offers her financial incentives to return to her post. Melvin increasingly finds himself drawn into Carol's personal life, and he eventually falls for the plucky single mom.

"As Good As It Gets" is a quirky update of the fable "Beauty and the Beast". Gifted writer-director James L. Brooks has assembled a superb cast to re-tell this classic tale. Besides the pitch perfect lead performances by Nicholson, Hunt, and Kinnear, there are sparkling supporting performances by Cuba Gooding Jr., Shirley Knight and others.

Too many of today's so-called comedies are mindless, uninspired concoctions profuse with sophomoric vulgarities and sexual obscenities. "As Good As It Gets" reminds us that there are still a few determined filmmakers willing to bring qualities such as intelligence, inventiveness, sophistication, and charm back to the silver screen. It is a shame that there are not more artists like these to inspire and entertain much-deprived audiences.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By David L Rattigan on November 27, 2002
Format: DVD
Another reviewer comments that the events in this film conspire to make Jack Nicholson (or rather Melvyn Udall) a human being. On the contrary, this is a film where the central character, an obsessive-compulsive bigot, is human from the start: We just don't realize it. A key moment in the film is when Simon, Melvin's gay neighbour (Greg Kinnear), is telling the young male prostitute, Vincent (Skeet Ulrich), about his art, and comments that he likes to watch people because sometimes, when you look at someone long enough, "you see their humanity." At that point Vincent is momentarily enabled to see something beyond the seedy world of male prostitution; at the same time Simon gives us the interpretive key to the whole movie. It is a film about three very different people who discover their common humanity.
Melvin is a hateful and insensitive recluse with a debilitating mental disorder; Carol (Helen Hunt), a Manhattan waitress struggling with her son's chronic illness and finding her identity swallowed up in the process; Simon, a gay artist who loses everything when he is attacked and robbed in his own home. One by one they must learn to see the humanity in each other and, as importantly, in themselves ("Where'd I go?" asks Simon as he looks at the reflection of his battered face in the mirror). We, too, must learn to see the human being underneath the spiteful and vicious (if somewhat the "loveable rogue") in Melvin.
The theme is developed sensitively and beautifully throughout the course of the film (perhaps only slightly overlong at more than two hours), with help coming from a fourth character, Verdelle, a dog, whose pivotal role in the narrative is easily overlooked (standing in the same cinematic tradition as Toto of "The Wizard of Oz").
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Damian Gunn on April 18, 2006
Format: DVD
And that my friends is a rarity. I'm new to the 'As Good as it Gets' fanclub sort-a-speak since I, for the first time, saw it last night despite the fact that my wife HATES the movie and was pissed I rented it. I have always been a fan of Jack Nicholson for he has been on top of his game for YEARS and doesn't show any sign of letting up anytime soon (I mean, he's won 3 oscars and has been nominated 12 times). I've also always enjoyed Hunt and Kinnear so it's a shoe-in for me to enjoy this film right? I just for some reason have never had the desire to see it, and then there I was walking through the local blockbuster thinking, you know what, I'll just go for it, and I'm so glad I did. Right off the bat Nicholson is at his best playing the grumpy old man, but he always adds just the right amount of class and confidence to lift him from Walter Matthau status and place him in the Michael Caine league. Nicholson plays Melvin, an obsesive compulsive racist bigot sexist grump of a man who is hated by everyone and very well may like it that way. He lives in the same apartment complex as Simon (Kinnear) a gay painter who is the subject of Melvin's vented anger (which is displayed by his constant verbal battery of poor Simon and the abuse he inflicts of Simon's dog) but after Simon is beaten and injured Melvin is pusuaded (a bit forcfully) to take care of Simon's dog. Unexpectedly Melvin forms an attachment to the dog and is somehow changed by his experience and moved to be a nicer, better person. He starts by helping a local waitress Carol (Hunt) who may just be the only person who tolerates him. Carol & Melvin & Simon throughout the remander of the film form a bond that is both unexpected and remarkably beautiful.Read more ›
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