Jack Nicholson has worked with director, writer and producer James L.
Brooks on 1983's 'Terms of Endearment' and 1987's 'Broadcast News' and while
Nicholson's career has been sagging a little since perhaps his most famous
role as the Joker in 1989's 'Batman', Nicholson is back in full form in 'As
Good As It Gets'. Nominated for only one Oscar in the 90's for Best
Supporting Actor in 1992's 'A Few Good Men', Nicholson is certain to receive
a nomination for Best Actor for this movie.
Nicholson plays a modern day writer in New York who is also a bigot who
suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder which forces him into routines so
radical, its memorable at every turn. He spars with a gay neighbour (Greg
Kinnear) at every chance he gets and causes trouble with his loud mouth at a
restaurant he frequents involving a kind but independently minded waitress
(Helen Hunt) with a little boy.
Under Nicholson's racist, sexist and homophobic skin is a man with a
streak of decency like Archie Bunker as Nicholson does nice things
eventually for the other characters in the film. Kinnear is beaten and
robbed in his apartment and Nicholson takes care of his little dog in a
reluctant manner after the film's opening scene depicted Nicholson putting
the little canine down the garbage chute of his apartment floor's hallway.
Kinnear travels to Baltimore to ask his parents for the money to pay
off his medical bills and Nicholson and Hunt go along for the ride and the
characters all change and contract a better and stronger moral fibre by the
end of the film. The relationship that builds between Nicholson and Hunt is
the real focus of the film and the spark of romance between them is unusual
As is typical with a James L. Brooks movie, the tone of the film is
slightly off beat and non-conformist which is perfect and this is a great
date movie. Brooks' interpretation of romance in the 90's is both
simplistic and touching and his style of presentation with this movie is
done with little music score while it lets the actors create their own
symphony of words and that's important.
Copyright © 1997 Walter Frith