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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 96. As Good as It Gets (1997)

June 19, 2011

96. As Good As It Gets [DVD] (1997)

Plot: Constantly grumpy, misanthropic, obsessive-compulsive novelist Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) with phobias about pretty much everything gets entangled in the lives of his favorite waitress (Helen Hunt) and next-door neighbor (Greg Kinnear).

Gradually he begins to show signs of humanity.

Also Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich, Shirley Knight, Brian Doyle-Murray.
Directed by: James L. Brooks
Length: 139 min.
Budget: $50 million / Gross Revenue: $314,178,011 (worldwide)

Brace yourself for Melvin. (As Good as It Gets poster tagline)

Review: Jack Nicholson is joined by a phenomenal cast helping him to make As Good as It Gets one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. I never was a Mad About You fan, but Helen Hunt won me over in Twister and in this movie she knocks it out of the park. As well as Takei neighbor Greg Kinnear does.

Favorite Quote: People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch. (Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall)

Writer/Director James L. Brooks is perhaps commonly known for being a producer/writer on The Simpsons even though he started his movie career by making the wonderful movie Terms of Endearment (1983). Sure, us guys call it a chick flick even worse than The Notebook, while we secretly watch them both and cry.

If you in the previous paragraph was expecting to see Spanglish (2004) as “the wonderful movie” I’m sorry to disappoint you. Or no I’m not. I love Adam Sandler but I’d rather rewatch Click (2006) before watching Spanglish ever again. I don’t hate it, but it isn’t a rewatch-worthy movie, so don’t expect to find it anywhere on this list.

But I digress.

In As Good as It Gets, James L. Brooks once again brings in Jack Nicholson, the actor who was awarded an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Tearms of Endearment and who Brooks also brought in for his second picture Broadcast News (1987). It is obvious they are a great fit; even though their latest cooperation How Do You Know (2010) was a bit of a disappointment.

Oscar Count:
2 wins: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Helen Hunt)
5 nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Greg Kinnear), Best Editing (Richard Marks), Best Picture (James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson and Kristi Zea), Best Original Score – Musical or Comedy (Hans Zimmer), Best Screenplay – Original (Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks)

Hans Zimmer did a great job with the score; and one of my all time favorite covers is in this movie with Art Garfunkel making a wonderful rendition of Eric Idle’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Nerdiest movie trivia: As a favor to writer director Brooks, his friends and writers/directors Harold Ramis, Lawrence Kasdan, Shane Black and Todd Solondz appear in bit pieces.

And finally, here’s my cheesy end statement: And when it comes to Jack Nicholson performances; this IS as good as it gets.

Previous on the list: 97. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2011 10:59

    Thanks for including my post here 🙂

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