Some of the most memorable one-liners of the year, Jack Nicholsons best role since Chinatown, Greg Kinnears best role since... well, since ever, and a story I think we can all relate to what does As Good as It Gets not have?
Aside from a few quibbles, As Good as It Gets really stands out as one of the years best films. Mark Nicholson down for a well-deserved Oscar. In fact, just watching him do two hours of his irredeemable Melvin by himself would be a treat. Match him up with a fine supporting cast, and its golden.
The story doesnt really lend itself to explanation, but Ill try anyway. Melvin is a famous novelist, as eccentric and neurotic as they come. Obsessed with ritual, leaving the house is an ordeal. Hell, opening the door is an ordeal. But when tragedy befalls his gay artist neighbor (Kinnear), Melvin rises to the task and finds himself on a bit of a personal journey, to risk sounding sentimental.
Along for the ride is Helen Hunts Carol, the waitress with whom Melvin is quietly smitten. And though the three seem as far off from one another as they come, they actually have one thing in common: theyre all plain nuts. And it doesnt sound like it, but the way these three help each other through bad times makes for some powerful and quite hilarious cinema.
For what its worth, Hunt is in fine form, redeeming herself for her now-hateful character on TVs Mad About You, and maybe it was watching Nicholson here that made her that way. My only real complaint is that, while its a fun ride, the movie is a bit circuitous, and after two hours, Im not sure I buy the resolution.
But it doesnt really matter. As Good as It Gets finally tells it like it is: most of us are nuts. In fact, most of us are completely fucking nuts! And if you look hard enough, there really may be someone out there for all of us, to help us make some sense of this wild ride were on after all.
Recommended for screwballs of all ages.