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By Anthony Miele | December 22, 1997

“As Good As It Gets” stars Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear and is helmed by acclaimed director James L. Brooks (“Broadcast News”) . If you were one of the few who suffered through Brooks last fiasco, the box-office-flop “I’ll Do Anything,” then you are probably thinking twice about seeing Brooks latest. (Remember that musical with Nick Nolte? Well don’t worry, no one else does either) Hopefully the immense pain that was endured will not keep you from seeing “As Good As It Gets”.
Jack Nicholson plays a successful, OCD stricken novelist who falls for a waitress from the only restaurant which his OCD will allow him to dine. This is easily Nicholson’s best performance this decade). The character is written as the most unlikable person one could ever meet. Despite this fact, Jack manages to make the character sympathetic.
Helen Hunt is captivating as the waitress to whom Nicholson aims his affection. She is funny, energetic and extremely sexy, which brings up a recurring theme in films today. Why must attractive females in film always fall into these two catagories?
1) Always alone with no men in their lives (because they are so ugly I guess…Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer).
2) Always going for a much older, wrinkly man, who in reality would never even get to talk to a woman of their caliber (any Eastwood film).
Kinnear plays the stereotypical gay neighbor of Nicholson. While his performance is receiving deserved critical praise, it does take him some time to settle into the character. I think the term Kinnear needs to learn is “subtle”.
“As Good As It Gets” might not get many of Oscar Nominations, but do not be surprised if it does.

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