Box art for As Good As It Gets

As Good As It Gets

comedy, drama, romance

The Academy Award®-winning (best actor JACK NICHOLSON, best actress HELEN HUNT) offbeat comedy celebrates the unique bond between three very different characters. Also stars GREG KINNEAR.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Funny, but not a light comedy for youngsters.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film deals candidly with homophobia, violence, mortality, and mental disorders. It includes a very violent and disturbing attack on one of the main characters, which leaves the man hospitalized and disfigured. A character verbally abuses others as a means of coping with his own extreme self-centered and (clinically) obsessive-compulsive behavior.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about issues such as tolerance, mental illness, and personal strength. What is at the bottom of Melvin's homophobic remarks toward Simon? What helps him overcome these feelings? The film illustrates the struggles of a single mother attempting to care for her chronically ill child and live a life of her own. Parents may want to use this opportunity to discuss a topic seldom considered by adolescents: the lives of parents beyond the needs of their children.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: An almost-convincing imaginary universe.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Fresh: One of the year's best.

- Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Rotten: The trouble lies in the rambling narrative, Brooks' cautious direction and the cosy tone which renders the whole thing reminiscent of an extended sitcom.

- Geoff Andrew, Time Out, Saturday, June 24, 2006

Audience Reviews

3 stars

"Brace yourself for Melvin." A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship REVIEW Another sitcom-style comedy for adults from James L. Brooks. Like all of Brooks' films, this one is well acted and written and it's always entertaining, but it's also unchallenging and cinematically uninteresting, and always feels slightly sanitized, even when it's dealing with rough topics. Jack Nicholson plays yet another version of crazy in the kind of role that his later career has been full of. Helen Hunt was hot at the moment because of "Mad About You," and while it's inconceivable all these years later that she actually won an Oscar for this film, her experience in sitcom acting suits Brooks and his material well (though there's quite an ick factor in seeing her paired with someone so much older and lecherous). Greg Kinnear rounds out the principal cast as a gay artist, while Shirley Knight and Cuba Gooding Jr. appear in smaller roles.

- mrpopcorn, Wednesday, June 9, 2010

4 stars

This is, by far, one of the best performances by Jack Nicholson and a very well-deserved Oscar he got. It's as though the role had been written especially for him, he had it perfectly, and this is probably my favourite role of his. Helen Hunt was great, too, and I also loved the screenplay. Overall, one of the most enjoyable comedy I've seen, a romantic film that manages to be heartwarming and never sound fake. I loved it.

- emilebond007, Thursday, January 21, 2010

5 stars

A comedy from the heart that goes for the throat.

- ScoopOnline, Saturday, December 19, 2009