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picture from As Good As It Gets As Good As It Gets
9 out of 109 out of 109 out of 109 out of 109 out of 10
Rated: PG-13
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So what is this movie all about, anyway? This is what I was asking myself as I sat down in the theater to see As Good As It Gets. I was still wondering when I saw Jack Nicholson's character, Melvin, shove a small dog down the trash chute of his New York apartment. But soon enough, the premise was set. Melvin (Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive romance novelist who seems to have a bit of trouble preventing himself from pissing off everyone he meets. His total lack of disregard for others' feelings fuels his quick tongue in heating things up for himself. However, Melvin discovers that he actually does have a conscience and a spot of care in his heart after being told off by his favorite waitress (Helen Hunt) at his favorite diner for making a comment about her ill son. Slowly then, Melvin takes steps to improve himself and his image by learning to care more for others than for himself.
The "plot" (I use this word in the loosest sense) does not necessarily lend itself to humor, especially when Melvin's vitriolic comments puncture new wounds into already aching hearts. This movie, although similar in the obsessive-compulsive nature of the lead character, is quite unlike that other comedy, What About Bob? But this movie stands on its own as a great comedy because it really is VERY FUNNY. There is so much to this movie that it is difficult to catch everything in one viewing. And as a compliment to the humor of this movie, there was pretty much constant laughter from my fellow audience as we sat and watched it.
No one could have played Melvin other than Jack Nicholson. This guy is made to play crazy people. His facade is often difficult to figure out giving him that ever-preset "crazy" look and leaving one wondering about the true content of his thoughts. He also proves here that he is quite adept at the comedic role. I was quite impressed.
Carol the waitress, meet Simon the fag.I was also impressed with the supporting cast. Helen Hunt plays Carol, Melvin's waitress, who is the only person who seems to be able to put up with his difficult personality. She is rewarded later by receiving medical treatment for her son, a gesture to which she feels incapable of repaying. Hunt is great in this role. She is somewhat the complement to Nicholson, especially in the way that her face conveys feeling and emotion. Greg Kinnear is Simon, Melvin's gay neighbor and an aspiring artist. After being beat up during a robbery, losing all of his money via bills, being unable to work due to injury, and losing the love of his dear dog, Simon finds himself battling depression, which is not easy with a neighbor like Melvin constantly emitting hurtful remarks. I was very impressed with Kinnear in this role. I have never seen him act this well.
My hat goes off to director James L. Brooks (one of the producers of The Simpsons) for this one. He has made a very funny movie which is very intriguing as well.
thumbs up!VERY FUNNY! Look for an award or two from this one.

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