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As Good As It Gets (1997)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 76
Fresh: 65 | Rotten: 11

James L. Brooks and Jack Nicholson, doing what they do best, combine smart dialogue and flawless acting to squeeze fresh entertainment value out of the romantic-comedy genre.

86

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 3

James L. Brooks and Jack Nicholson, doing what they do best, combine smart dialogue and flawless acting to squeeze fresh entertainment value out of the romantic-comedy genre.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 376,731

My Rating

Movie Info

Jack Nicholson is hilariously funny as a compulsive-obsessive, homophobic romance novelist who is compelled by circumstances to get to know his gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) and the waitress who puts up with NicholsonŐs abuse over breakfast every morning.

PG-13,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Mark Andrus, James L. Brooks

May 19, 1998

TriStar Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on As Good As It Gets

July 31, 2013:
Helen Hunt's On a Ride
She'll star, direct, and produce -- and oh yeah, she wrote the script, too.
May 10, 2005:
Helen Hunt to Write, Direct, and Star in Longtime Pet Project
Oscar-winner Helen Hunt ("As Good As It Gets"), after a four-year absence from the silver...

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All Critics (77) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (65) | Rotten (11) | DVD (16)

A sporadically funny romantic comedy with all the dramatic plausibility and tonal consistency of a TV variety show.

July 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The trouble lies in the rambling narrative, Brooks' cautious direction and the cosy tone which renders the whole thing reminiscent of an extended sitcom.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Romance comedies definitely come better than this, although perhaps not lately.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's fun to watch Jack Nicholson draw on great reservoirs of bile to play a mean SOB with an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a mark of how magically written, directed and acted As Good as It Gets is that we end up loving this film despite knowing how haphazard, scattershot and almost indefinable its charm is.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie succeeds at many moments even while pursuing its doomed grand design.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny, but not a light comedy for youngsters.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The greatest pleasures come from the acting.

March 29, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

The movie's too long, and the direction is sometimes slack -- but the script is crammed with withering ripostes, ably delivered by Nicholson and Hunt.

September 3, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Not only one of the best romantic comedies of the year, but one of the best films in ages.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Both funny and sad, the comedy was in the vein of Brooks' Terms of Endearment, except it was more eccentric and nuttier and in moments genuinely touching due to strong chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

An inflated TV show by a sitcom creator.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)
F5 (Wichita, KS)

The character is written as the most unlikable person one could ever meet. Despite this fact, Jack manages to make the character sympathetic.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The unpredictable and fresh 'As Good As It Gets' is peppered with memorable Brooks lines and physical schtick.

May 28, 2005 Full Review
Kansas City Kansan

Mildly likable.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

...a precariously balanced movie, one that flirts with smugness. That it isn't awful is in some respects amazing.

January 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

... it coaxes us to be more open to each other, more compassionate, and more loving.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Like Broadcast News, James L. Brooks' new film is a dark-edged adult comedy that hits the spot for those who like their romances splashed with acidic wit.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Even the familiar scenes and situations look refreshing.

January 8, 2004 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Humorous, romantic, personal.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Perhaps, though, it is Carol's (and Hunt's) ongoing commitment to emotional honesty and fair play that make it increasingly difficult to ignore the film's encroaching patterns of sentimentality and uninspired developments.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

An honest, original comedy about recognizable human beings.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

This is Jack at his best, the kind of role that makes him a star. He gets to bear his teeth, take control of a room, and be devilishly cuddly at the same time.

October 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Nicholson is so darn good!

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Audience Reviews for As Good As It Gets

Brace yourself for Melvin.

Great Film! Everything is good and warm in this movie, everything is fresh and vivacious, understandable and well performed. Jack Nicholson brings one of the best performances of his career, that terrific Helen Hunt finally got a chance to show how skilfully an actor can connect naturalism with the laws of the camera performance, and Greg Kinnear shows the most convincing emotions coming from a gay character I've ever seen. The relationships between the characters are created in the way that you can't predict anything that's going to happen, eventhough you know in advance what could come out of their mouth and what kind of attitude they'll have in a certain situation. You can simply feel the progressive collaboration that occurred between Brooks and the actors and the mutual understanding they developed, and it's not often that you see that kind of artistic superstructure shining on the screen so much as it does here. Overall this is a sentimental romantic comedy that is typical for the genre. The story wanders to it's point but the good cast, led by a great Nicholson, hold the whole thing together. A superior piece of sentimentality. Go see it!

New York City. Melvin Udall, a cranky, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive writer, finds his life turned upside down when neighboring gay artist Simon is hospitalized and his dog is entrusted to Melvin. In addition, Carol, the only waitress who will tolerate him, must leave work to care for her sick son, making it impossible for Melvin to eat breakfast.
January 11, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Great characters, excellent acting, and lots of humor and pathos highlight this charming and heartwarming human dramedy/romance story about damaged people struggling for hope, help, and love. While not everyone can relate to the specifics of the characters, the general issues they deal with are realistically portrayed, believable, and understandable.

This is great stuff. Jack and Helen definitely deserved their Oscars for their work here, but I think Kinnear got robbed. He's also terrific. Even the little dog is very cute and memorable.

All in all, the film is a very touching and well done piece, but, because it does hit a lot of uncomfortable moments, it can be one that's tough to get through at times. However, there's a fair amount of humor, and, while some of it is mean-spirited, it's definitely memorable, and there's plenty of lines, funny and otherwise, that are quite quotable.
June 27, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The plot is forced, but Nicholson as Melvin is so sharp and captivating. The film creates an original Ebeneezer Scrooge with a piercing wit aimed to tear down whoever he crosses. Perhaps he is maintaining social walls to ensure that his severe obsessive-compulsive disorder is well stroked, securing his meticulously-set routine from interruptions. They say a way to get over your bad habits is to find better habits that you enjoy even more... Well hello, Helen Hunt!
December 27, 2012
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

It's a touching romantic comedy that balances itself properly right in between being energetic and schmultsy. Nicholson is fantastic in his role as Melvin and the same goes for the supporting cast. The direction is near solid but at time's bumbling and unnatural. It's a bit to lengthy but As Good as it Gets is a tremendously entertaining rom com of a high quality.
March 31, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Melvin Udall: People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch.
    – Submitted by Jeremy F (19 months ago)
    1. Melvin Udall: Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes, with boats, and friends, and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story; good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good.
    – Submitted by Jim G (23 months ago)
    1. Melvin Udall: Well, I work all the time. So never interrupt me. Not if there's a fire. Not even if you hear the sound of a thud coming from my home and a week later, there's a smell that can only be a decaying human body and you have to put a hanky up to your nose because the smell is so bad, you think you're gonna faint. Even then don't come knocking. Or, if it's election night, and you're excited and you wanna celebrate because some fudge packer you date has become the first queer president of the United States and he's going to have you down to Camp David, and you want someone to share the moment with. Even then, don't knock, not on this door. Not for any reason. Do you get me, sweetheart?
    – Submitted by Cody H (23 months ago)
    1. Melvin Udall: I had to see you.
    2. Carol Connelly: Because?
    3. Melvin Udall: It relaxes me. I'd feel better sitting outside your apartment on the curb than any other place I can think of or imagine.
    – Submitted by Jayathra L (24 months ago)
    1. Jackie: How do you write women so well?
    2. Melvin Udall: I think of a man. And I take away reason and accountability.
    – Submitted by Jayathra L (24 months ago)
    1. Melvin Udall: Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here!
    – Submitted by Marc H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (15)

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