As Good as It Gets Reviews
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.
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.
A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship
Another sitcom-style comedy for adults from James L. Brooks. Like all of Brooks' films, this one is well acted and written and it's always entertaining, but it's also unchallenging and cinematically uninteresting, and always feels slightly sanitized, even when it's dealing with rough topics.
Jack Nicholson plays yet another version of crazy in the kind of role that his later career has been full of. Helen Hunt was hot at the moment because of "Mad About You," and while it's inconceivable all these years later that she actually won an Oscar for this film, her experience in sitcom acting suits Brooks and his material well (though there's quite an ick factor in seeing her paired with someone so much older and lecherous). Greg Kinnear rounds out the principal cast as a gay artist, while Shirley Knight and Cuba Gooding Jr. appear in smaller roles.
Helen Hunt was great, too, and I also loved the screenplay.
Overall, one of the most enjoyable comedy I've seen, a romantic film that manages to be heartwarming and never sound fake.
I loved it.
The big Oscar winner for Jack is recent years is enjoyable if you come to it knowing what to expect. The film is very sentimental but in a good way. The film is gently comic and amusing and the characters (although exaggerated) are winning and involving. The telling is a little long winded at times and the film could have been shorter but it is still enjoyable. It does tip over into sickly sentimentality at times and can be a bit syrupy but it comes with the territory.
Nicholson is excellent and is the main reason it all works well. His un-PC Melvin is funny but also a character that you can hate and pity on several occasions. Kinnear is good because he is a solid understated character and not hammy or OTT like he can be. Hunt is good but is left with the majority of the syrup and sentiment where the other characters get more share of the laughs. Gooding Jr continues his trend of being good in over the top roles and is funny and happily avoids becoming a flaming gay stereotype.
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.