Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, As Good As It Gets became one of the surprise blockbusters of 1997. Jack Nicholson dispenses insults with his one-in-a-billion sense of delivery, and if you like serious comedies, this is the film for you. Helen Hunt is masterful in her portrayal of a hard-luck single mother who befriends Nicholson's oddball character, and Greg Kinnear does well as the neighbor who faces hard times himself. Home to a well-written screenplay exhibiting superb direction from James L. Brooks, As Good As It Gets makes a place for itself in the annals of movie history.
Jack Nicholson stars as cranky, bitter, semi-shut-in novelist Melvin Udall who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Everyday, like clockwork, Melvin eats breakfast at the same diner where he brings his own utensils and is waited on by the same waitress (the only one who will agree to serve him), Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt). Despite his eccentricities, the two form a sort of unspoken understanding of each other. Meanwhile, Melvin's neighbor, Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear), a homosexual artist who is often the object of Melvin's bigoted comments, entertains the elite art circles of New York. Simon's dog forms a further divide between the two when Simon drops him down the trash chute to stop his barking.
When Simon is attacked in his home and left beaten and unable to create his art, all of his friends abandon him and the bills are left unpaid. Melvin, having reluctantly agreed to take care of the dog in Simon's absence, develops an attachment to the dog. Meanwhile, Carol Connelly leaves the diner in order to better take care of her sick son. Distraught, Melvin offers to pay for treatments in order to have Carol back as his waitress once again. With each character struggling with personal tragedies, the three slowly develop a respect for each other and a friendship which only grows.