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As Good As It Gets Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

James L. Brooks (, ) directed this $50 million-plus romantic comedy, set in Manhattan. Dysfunctional, acid-tongued romance novelist Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson), who suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder, takes pride in his ability to offend. At a nearby cafe, the only waitress willing to stand up to his sarcastic tirades is Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), a single mother struggling to raise her chronically asthmatic son. In Melvin's West Village apartment building, talented contemporary artist Simon Nye (Greg Kinnear) lives across the hall from Melvin. Simon is the current darling of the New York art world, reason enough to draw Melvin's verbal fire, but Simon's gay lifestyle is further grist for the novelist's malicious mill. These three New Yorkers, none of whom appears to have a chance in hell at finding true happiness, discover their fates intertwined because of the fourth complicated character in the piece, Verdell, a tiny Brussels Griffon dog (played by newcomer Jill, after a 15-week training program). Melvin seems to have no friends or family, and he lives alone, working on his 62nd book. When Simon goes into the hospital after a brutal mugging, Melvin has to take care of Verdell, and the dog actually warms Melvin's cold heart -- to the degree that he sets up unsolicited medical care for Carol's son. Eventually, Melvin is cornered into driving Simon and Carol to Baltimore, and during a hotel stopover, Melvin confesses to Carol, "You make me want to be a better man." The trip becomes an odyssey of self-realization for all three. Locations included Brooklyn's Prospect Park (Carol's neighborhood) and Greenwich Village (where Melvin's building is on 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). Other exteriors were shot in downtown Los Angeles, where a dilapidated transient hotel at the corner of 4th Street and Main was transformed into the chic cafe where Carol works. Sets for the Simon/Melvin apartment interiors were erected on a soundstage at the Sony Pictures lot. Simon's paintings were created for the film by New York artist Billy Sullivan, whose work is part of the modern art collection at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

  • Release date:January 21, 1998

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Screen Actors Guild Jack Nicholson Best Actor 1997 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jack Nicholson Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1997 Winner
Broadcast Film Critics Association Jack Nicholson Best Actor 1997 Winner
National Board of Review Jack Nicholson Best Actor 1997 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jack Nicholson Best Actor 1997 Winner
Toronto Film Critics Association Jack Nicholson Best Actor - Runner-up 1997 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Mark Andrus Best Screenplay 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mark Andrus Best Original Screenplay 1997 Nominee
National Board of Review Greg Kinnear Best Supporting Actor 1997 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Greg Kinnear Best Supporting Actor 1997 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Greg Kinnear Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Greg Kinnear Best Supporting Actor 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Hans Zimmer Best Musical or Comedy Score 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Kristi Zea Best Picture 1997 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Helen Hunt Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1997 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Helen Hunt Best Actress 1997 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Helen Hunt Best Actress 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Marks Best Editing 1997 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association James L. Brooks Best Director 1997 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association James L. Brooks Best Screenplay 1997 Nominee
Directors Guild of America James L. Brooks Best Director 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences James L. Brooks Best Original Screenplay 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences James L. Brooks Best Picture 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bridget Johnson Best Picture 1997 Nominee

Cast

Jack Nicholson
as Melvin Udall
Helen Hunt
as Carol Connelly
Greg Kinnear
as Simon Bishop
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
as Frank Sachs
Skeet Ulrich
as Vincent
Shirley Knight
as Beverly
Yeardley Smith
as Jackie
Lupe Ontiveros
as Nora
Harold Ramis
as Dr. Betz
Leslie Stefanson
as Cafe Waitress
Wood Harris
Jamie Kennedy
as Street Hustler
Jesse James
as Spencer Connelly
Jamie Kennedy
as Street Hustler
Leslie Stefanson
as Cafe Waitress
Harold Ramis
as Dr. Betz

Crew

James L. Brooks
Director
James L. Brooks
Producer
Bridget Johnson
Producer
Kristi Zea
Producer
Mark Andrus
Screenwriter
Mark Andrus
Screen Story
James L. Brooks
Screenwriter
John Bailey
Cinematographer
Hans Zimmer
Composer (Music Score)
Richard Marks
Editor
Bill Brzeski
Production Designer
Richard Marks
Co-producer
John D. Schofield
Co-producer
Owen Wilson
Associate Producer
Richard Sakai
Executive Producer
Laura Ziskin
Executive Producer
Laurence Mark
Executive Producer
Clay Griffith
Set Designer
Molly Maginnis
Costume Designer
Jeff Wexler
Sound/Sound Designer
Aldric La'Auli Porter
First Assistant Director
Francine Maisler
Casting
Roger Schumacher
Animal Trainer/Wrangler
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