As Good As It Gets, As Good As It Gets MovieReview, Movie Review, Rilm Review

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"As Good As It Gets"

James L. Brooks is back in the saddle again with this delightful comedy of unusual tricks and characters. He creates a climate for three rich characterizations of people on the edge. Certainly Jack Nicholson as Melvin will be the most despised and loved character this season. That the actor could restrain himself as the obnoxious bully is a big plus for him. His obsessive-compulsive, bigoted novelist will really turn you off, than he spends the remainder of the movie winning you over with his lethal charm. His two big problems to overcome are Helen Hunt in a winning performance of mother and waitress and would be lover. She matches him every step of the way and shows us why she is such an excellent actress.

Greg Kinnear plays the gay neighbor who really needs the help of Nicholson, as the straight neighbor, to watch over an incredible loveable neurotic dog. With probably the most enjoyable opening credits ever, they will set you laughing. The small dog really almost slowed the first half of the film, but after that it was the sharp dialogue that engages us in the spicy spiky script of James L Brooks.

It was really exciting to see Shirley Knight on screen again, very reminiscent of Francis Coppola using Teresa Wright recently in "The Rainmaker". If this is a trend I am all for it. Since we have these talented performers now mature enough to give the industry a terrific support in supporting roles. Why waste all these excellent experienced performers by not using them. James L. Brooks must really have felt at home with Nicholson since they worked together in that box-office hit "Terms Of Endearment". I'll ask the question, "What if this is as good as it gets?" - I would be a hundred percent for it!

As Good As It Gets
Tristar (Sony)
Produced by: Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea
Produced and directed by: James L. Brooks
With: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich, Shirley Knight
Associate producer: Aldric Porter
Executive producers: Laurence Mark, Richard Sakai, Laura Ziskin
Co-producers: John D. Schofield, Richard Marks
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Edited by: Richard Marks
Story by: Mark Andrus
Screenplay by: Mark Andrus, James L. Brooks
Production designer: Bill Brzeski
Director of photography: John Bailey
Rated: PG-13
Released 25 December 1997
Limited releases prior to 25 December 1997

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Original Date Sunday 14 December 1997
Updated Sunday 30 December 1997