16 February 2017

As Good As It Gets (starring Jack Nicholson)

This is another of those films that was recommended to me by Amazon based on my previous viewing preferences. It sounded intriguing so I put it on my wishlist, and was given it for Christmas. We decided to watch it last night.

‘As good as it gets’ stars Jack Nicholson as the obsessive-compulsive Melvin. He isn’t just paranoid about germs and cracks in the roads; he is an aggressively unpleasant and bigoted man who is rude to - and about - everyone he comes across. However, and rather bizarrely, he is also a highly successful romantic novelist.

One of his neighbours (Greg Kinnear) is an artist with a dog whom Melvin particularly dislikes. However after a very unpleasant incident, Melvin finds himself looking after the dog… and slowly a slightly more human side emerges. I found Melvin decidedly annoying at first: not for his OCD but for his extreme rudeness, and never really warmed to him.

The storyline is all rather unlikely, involving a waitress (Helen Hunt) in a restaurant who tolerates Melvin’s strange quirks. Minor characters include a sick child, a flamboyant agent, a somewhat clingy (though helpful) mother, and a friendly doctor. They are all somewhat caricatured, which made it easy to remember who was whom.

The film was made in 1997 so it’s inevitably somewhat dated - the old-fashioned telephones are a giveaway clue. Moreover, some of the racist, homophobic and other similarly bigoted lines, while presumably meant to be funny, are a bit shocking; as are the cheers when someone is thrown out of a restaurant.

Still, there’s a little slapstick humour and some nicely done asides that work well. Overall it’s quite a light-hearted film despite the one scene of violence and some quite serious issues. It’s very well made, and while I found it hard to see any chemistry between the two main characters, it was overall an enjoyable film. Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear are both excellent, but I never entirely believed in Jack Nicholson, even though he delivers some of the best lines (and won an Oscar for his role).

The rating is 15 which I would say is right: while there are no extreme scenes of intimacy or overt nudity, there’s a great deal that’s implied, and a lot of suggestive (and indeed overt) dialogue. There is one violent scene and also a few instances of ‘strong’ language. In the United States the rating is PG-13, which surprised me, as their censors are usually stricter than those in the UK.

Review by copyright 2017 Sue's DVD Reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment