As Good as It Gets [DVD] (1997)
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Curmudgeonly romantic writer Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is a neurotic homophobic racist who enjoys insulting his gay neighbour, artist Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear), and being rude to waitress Carol (Helen Hunt) at his local restaurant. However, when Simon is hospitalised, it falls to Melvin to look after his pet dog, Verdell. An emotional thaw begins to set in, and when Carol misses stints at the restaurant due to her son's asthma, Melvin pays for him to have proper medical attention. A budding romance with Carol is threatened, however, by Melvin's obsessive neuroses. Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt each won Oscars for their performances in this prickly comedy directed by James L. Brooks.
For all of its conventional plotting about an obsessive-compulsive curmudgeon (Jack Nicholson) who improves his personality at the urging of his gay neighbour (Greg Kinnear) and a waitress (Helen Hunt) who inspires his best behaviour, 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 mum with a chronically asthmatic young son, Hunt gives the film its conscience and integrity (along with plenty of wry humour) and she also won an Oscar for her wonderful performance. Greg Kinnear had to settle for an Oscar nomination (while co-writer-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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The DVD itself is standard - trailers, scene selection, audio set -up but no Making Of, though the Director's commentary is a useful bonus. Picture quality and sound are excellent.
Opening with Jack Nicholson's Melvin treating his neighbour's dog with no respect whatsoever and seeing his immediate uncaring action delivers the tone for some dark no holds barred comedy.
Greg Kinnear's protagonist Simon is gay, which Melvin is always keen to mention. Where there has been a heavy stamp on homophobia in recent times it hasn't stopped films and TV shows ruling it out, Little Britain and Scrubs often include such ideologies which provide laughs and thankfully, this film knows it is taking the mike and respects the boundaries of sexual orientation without demeaning the character. The stand up at the end shows that sexual orientation is insignificant to a person anyway. Like Dogma, you can accept it seriously or not, and it is simply brilliant to not take it seriously, it is more enjoyable to take it as a comedy, not a drama.
Bar your gay jokes there is some wonderful comic acting from the stars to gain some chuckles. Nicholson's honest blurbs are hilarious, Hunt's bluntness with Melvin is charismatic and though his character can be annoying, Kinnear brings a slice of depression humour to the picture.
Sex, romance, bullying, robbery, dog bashing, obsessive compulsive disorder, racism and in general any ordinary situation like ordering food gets a full out comic depiction that is simply great. In a world that is confounded by rules it is great to see some people like to break them.
The plot itself keeps itself interesting through some cheeky styling of character development.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
lost my attention in places .nicholson and hunt got oscars , but would have gone for kinnear and hunt . Read morePublished 20 days ago by a view from the trenches