As Good as It Gets

Critics Consensus

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.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 79

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 378,728

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Movie Info

Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction who's rude to everyone he meets, including his gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear), but when he has to look after Simon's dog, he begins to soften and, if still not completely over his problems, finds he can conduct a relationship with the only waitress (Helen Hunt) at the local diner who'll serve him.

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Critic Reviews for As Good as It Gets

All Critics (79) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (12)

  • With terrific lead performances by Jack Nicholson as a demonic novelist and Helen Hunt as a Manhattan waitress, As Good as It Gets is as good as mature adult entertainment gets on the silver screen.

    December 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This is the stuff of formula but director James L. Brooks and co-writer Mark Andrus elevate it with terrific writing.

    August 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • On one hand, it's Brooks's film that most betrays his TV sitcom roots; it's also one of his more ambitious works, packing in subplots and subjects by the handful-indicative of a filmmaker who seems to genuinely struggle with the confines of the genre.

    January 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A sporadically funny romantic comedy with all the dramatic plausibility and tonal consistency of a TV variety show.

    July 2, 2008
  • 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…
  • Romance comedies definitely come better than this, although perhaps not lately.

    April 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for As Good as It Gets

  • Mar 26, 2016
    A funny, quotable and immensely entertaining film, As Good As it Gets brings one of Jack Nickelson's best performances and surrounds him with a stellar supporting cast. Not your standard romantic-comedy, that's for sure.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2013
    Anything with Jack Nicholson is destined to be enjoyable, but in "As Good As It Gets" he extends beyond simply embodying his character, Melvin, a short-tempered and socially inept author with zero filter, and takes the role to an entirely new, iconic level. Nicholson is always gruff and intimidating, but tossing on an OCD, anti-social demeanor to his character takes this romantic comedy to Oscar caliber territory. Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear both reach beyond their normal plateaued performances and give true, believable arcs to these characters, drawing you into the story and reflecting the changes that are happening within Melvin. Although too often delving into that sappy word of melodramatic, romantic blase, "As Good As It Gets" projects a veteran star in an impeccable role that proves he still has so much to offer regardless of age.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2013
    Forgive the pun, but "As Good As It Gets" is just about as good (and as unusual) as romantic comedies get. Jack Nicholson (who never seems to give a bad performance) is in his best shape as Melvin Udall, a rude but well-meaning sourpuss with an obssessive-compulsive disorder that takes some getting used to. Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear are also both excellent in their roles and the screenplay by Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks is smart, original and amiable. It's a special, lovable movie.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2013
    As Good as it Gets revolves around three individuals in Manhattan. Melvin (played by Jack Nicholson) a writer who suffers from OCD and puts on an ugly attitude in the morning. Carol (played by Helen Hunt) a Manhattan waitress who has an ill son and has her mother living with her. And Simon (played by Kinnear, who you might know from television) who is a gay painter who has recently been robbed and beaten. Evidently enough they all come together, in none other than a road trip. This is the main problem of this film, it's all so obvious. Just from the opening fifteen minutes and the poster I knew where this was heading. Nicholson and Hunt won Oscars for there performance, and as expected they do there jobs well. The screenplay has plenty of good quotes that are shot at you one after another. I still had many questions about Melvin after this was done though. Was he always like this, is Carol his first love, why does he have a need to act mean? None of these are answered, and while I understand why many find this touching, I didn't get enough out of it. I'm sure romance fans are on there knees when they watch this, but it felt predictable for me.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer

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