As Good as It Gets

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As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy directed by James L. Brooks and produced by Laura Ziskin. It stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic, obsessive-compulsive novelist, Helen Hunt as a single mother with an asthmatic son, and Greg Kinnear as a homosexual artist. The screenplay was written by Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks.

The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress. It is the second film of the 1990s to win both of these awards, following The Silence of the Lambs in 1991, and is currently the last film to have won both acting categories. It is ranked 140th on Empire magazine's "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.[2]

Contents

Plot

Melvin Udall is a misanthrope who works at home as a best-selling novelist in New York City. He suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder which, paired with his misanthropy, puts off the neighbors in his Manhattan apartment building and nearly everyone else with whom he comes into contact. He eats breakfast at the same table in the same restaurant every day using disposable plastic utensils he brings with him due to his pathological germophobia. He takes an interest in his waitress, Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), the only server at the restaurant who can tolerate his behavior.

One day, Melvin's neighbor, a gay artist named Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear), is assaulted. Melvin is forced to take care of the artist's dog Verdell while Simon is in the hospital. Although he initially finds caring for the dog distasteful, Melvin becomes emotionally attached to Verdell as he simultaneously gains more attention from Carol. When Carol decides to get a job closer to Brooklyn so she can spend more time with her acutely asthmatic son (Jesse James), Melvin arranges to pay for her son's medical expenses. Wary of owing Melvin for this gesture, Carol takes the train to his apartment in the middle of the night to tell him that she will not sleep with him.

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