My husband and I just watched “As Good As It Gets”. Great movie. I love Jack Nicholson in this movie, as well as Greg Kinnear and Helen Hunt. It’s hard to believe this movie was released 15 years ago, in December of 1997. Time flies.
Nicholson plays Melvin Udall, an eccentric author with a serious case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. His neighbor Simon (Kinnear) is a homosexual artist whom Udall unceasingly picks on. Udall is enthralled with a local waitress, Carol (Hunt), who has an ill son.
While obsessive-compulsive behavior is generally not a laughing matter, (believe me, I know, I lived with someone who had OCD for 13 years, and it was not fun), Nicholson’s performance makes it funny. His interactions with Simon, and Simon’s dog, are priceless. His obsession with Carol is kind of endearing, although at times it's kind of creepy.
Melvin goes to the restaurant where Carol works every day, and has to sit in her section. He orders the same food, brings his own utensils, and listens to her conversations with co-workers. He learns about her son, who has trouble breathing and is constantly in the emergency room. When Carol misses work to be with her son, Melvin sends a doctor to her house and pays for continuing treatment just so Carol is available to wait on him.
Simon gets robbed and beat up by friends of a guy who is modeling for Simon. Simon winds up in the hospital, and due to the high cost of his medical bills and the fact that he can’t work, he also winds up broke. He needs to go to Baltimore to ask his parents for money, and Melvin is the only person available who can drive him there. Melvin doesn’t want to be alone with Simon, so he begs Carol to go with him. Carol refuses at first, but Melvin tells her she owes him since he’s paying the medical bills for her son.
The trio heads to Baltimore, with Melvin insulting Simon and Carol every step of the way. Carol and Simon become great friends, and Melvin becomes jealous because he is in love with Carol. Carol is slowing falling in love with Melvin as well, but she hesitates because of Melvin’s attitude.
When they return from Baltimore, Carol tells Melvin off and says she never wants to see him again. Simon discovers that he has lost his apartment and studio, but Melvin has had all of Simon’s belongings moved into his apartment. Carol later calls Melvin to apologize, and discovers that Melvin has let Simon move in. Melvin goes to Carol’s apartment, where she wonders why she can never have a normal boyfriend.