As Good As It Gets 1999

Read the script
Extract from As Good As It Gets (DOC)

The Story

James L. Brooks directed this romantic comedy, set in Manhattan, about a dysfunc­tional romance novelist Melvin Udall (Jack Nich­olson) and a wait­ress Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), a single mother strug­gling to raise her chron­ic­ally asth­matic son. Melvin has no friends or family, and he lives alone. Every day he goes to eat at the restaurant where Carol works. She toler­ates his eccent­ri­cities and his manic compulsive beha­viour and they have a kind of rela­tion­ship.  Then one day she doesn’t come to work.

This seri­ously upsets Melvin’s world. When he finds out that she was absent because of her son’s illness, Melvin pays the medical bills for his own purely selfish reason: to get Carol to return to her job. Carol is grateful but misin­ter­prets his motives.

In Melvin’s apart­ment building, a gay artist, Simon Nye (Greg Kinnear) lives across the hall from Melvin. When Simon goes into the hospital after a brutal mugging, Melvin is forced to take care of Simon’s dog. Melvin begins by disliking the dog but gradu­ally develops a strong affec­tion for it.

Melvin agrees to drive Simon to see his parents in New England and invites Carol along. The road trip creates a bond between the three of them, espe­cially Simon and Carol. After some comic misun­der­stand­ings, Melvin real­ises that he has to change and begins to make an effort to do so – opening the way for an unlikely but genuine romance with Carol.

David Clough ©2011

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