As Good As It Gets

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Life for New York apartment dweller Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is solitary, except for an annoying neighbor and a peculiar little dog. Across the hall lives Simon Nye (Greg Kinnear), a gay artist whose ugly dog steals the show with her antics.

Melvin is a mean-spirited, malicious man. Even when people are nice, Melvin snaps at them. Only Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt) tolerates his bigotry as she serves him lunch everyday at the neighborhood diner. Melvin's wicked tongue is funny at times but his obsessive compulsive behavior, such as turning his door locks five times, proves he is a disturbed man.

When Melvin, Simon, and Carol are forced to take a car trip together, they learn to appreciate each other. All who have survived the loss of broken relationships and the heartbreak of failed expectations will appreciate how these characters challenge each other to be better human beings. Expect huge critical acclaim and slow but strong box office response.

Because this is a story about people who observe people for a living--one a writer, one an artist, one a waitress--many socially offensive behaviors are portrayed and discussed. Melvin is verbally abusive, producing creative put-downs for everyone he meets. He watches his victims closely to gage their reactions, making mental notes.

Although Simon professes to be gay, he lives alone and only casually embraces his friends. But, he does have models disrobe for him. One model violently attacks him, and Simon's face is horribly disfigured. To the surprise of everyone, Melvin helps take care of Simon.

Carol, the mother of a chronically ill child, endures heavy groping and kissing on one date, then finds freedom from her sexual repression by posing semi-nude for Simon. Despite her disapproval of some of Melvin's and Simon's behavior, Carol demands them to be better people. They each grow in this satisfying portrayal of complex relationships, but we can't condone foul language, nudity and homosexuals kissing.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Zumwalt
Tristar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (19) times--Mild 6, Moderate 13

Obscene Language: Many (13) times (s-word 5, f-word 3, other 5)

Profanity: Several (8) times--Regular 7 (C 2, C-sake 2, Oh God 2, Holy God 1) Exclamatory - 1

Violence: Few times - Mild to Moderate (obscured beating of man, disfigured face of man after attack, pushing and shoving )

Sex: None

Nudity: Several times (rear male as he pulls down pants; side breast nudity as woman sits on tub and towel falls; drawings and painting of nude female) Near Nudity - (woman lays on bed with arms draped over breasts; wet T-shirt, revealing negligee and dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (man kisses, licks and gropes woman, references to sex acts, sleeping together, and sexual responses)

Drugs: None

Other: Snide references to Jewish couple and gays, dog dropped in garbage chute, dog urinates in hallway

Running Time: 138 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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