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As Good as It Gets (1997) Poster

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In one scene the dog starts mimicking Jack Nicholson by stepping over the cracks in the sidewalk. The filmmakers accomplished this by placing little obstacles on the cracks so that the dog had to step over them. They then removed the obstacles digitally in post-production.
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At the 1998 Oscar ceremony, when his name was announced as the winner of the Best Actor award, Jack Nicholson ascended to the podium by carefully stepping over the cracks between the tiles on the stage, in imitation of his character, Melvin Udall. Nicholson dedicated his Oscar to his A Few Good Men (1992) co-star J.T. Walsh who had died shortly before the Academy Awards in 1998.
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Jack Nicholson said that playing Melvin was difficult, but he was "the most lovable character I've ever played."
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Jack Nicholson was terrified no one would like the movie, because his character was so horrible to people.
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In the scene where Carol reads out a letter of apology and thanks to Melvin, Helen Hunt did one take where she read out an eighteen-page letter in its entirety.
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Jack Nicholson would sometimes add compulsive ticks to his performance just out of the camera's view.
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The real "Verdell" stayed at Jack Nicholson's Hollywood house during the movie.
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Udall's response to the question about how he writes women is an actual response given by author John Updike when asked the same question.
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Jack Nicholson wasn't supposed to kiss Helen Hunt, but James L. Brooks yelled to Nicholson, "Kiss her, man!"
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Jack Nicholson described the movie as "a love story where you do nothing but aggravate somebody."
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Helen Hunt took a two-year break from movies after this film. She'd been working almost non-stop since she was nine years old.
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The most recent film to win both Best Actor and Best Actress at the Academy awards.
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Greg Kinnear had a hard time getting along with the dog.
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James L. Brooks couldn't think of anyone to play Melvin besides Jack Nicholson. He did briefly consider Jim Carrey, but said that "would have made it a completely different movie."
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Greg Kinnear was scared to work with Jack Nicholson. He called Nicholson an actor of "great unpredictability".
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Nicholson was 60 when the film was made, Helen Hunt was 34. A 26 year difference.
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Woody Harrelson read for the part of Simon. According to Harrelson, he "went too femme on it". The audition took place at Nicholson's house and Harrelson admits that he was nervous meeting him.
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A bit of humor was added right after the statement "the animals used in this film were in no way mistreated" with "the actors used in this film were in no way mistreated."
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Helen Hunt said that if you had to categorize the movie, it would be a romantic comedy. However, that wasn't the original plan. Hunt said, "It arrived in the footage, so we all went, 'Okay.'"
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The movie's title was translated as "Mr. Cat Poop" in Hong Kong. Apparently, it came from the name "Melvin", which is pronounced very similarly to the Cantonese colloquial word for cat poop.
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Jack Nicholson joked that they should call the movie "Warm Rolls and Wet Pants".
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Carol was originally supposed to be forty-four years old. Helen Hunt was thirty-four.
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The original script was written by Mark Andrus. James L. Brooks did a re-write of it when he bought it.
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Verdell the dog, was played by six Brussels Griffons, named Timer the Dog, Sprout, Debbie, Billy the Dog, Parfait, and Jill the Dog. Jill was the star.
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Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt won the Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars respectively for this film, while Greg Kinnear was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Nicholson is the only actor to date (2017) to ever star in a film for which he would win the Oscar for Best Actor that would also receive a Best Actress Oscar, and also be nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The previous one was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) in which Nicholson and Louise Fletcher won Oscars for Best Actor and Actress, while Brad Dourif was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
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The couple Melvin insults at the restaurant in the beginning of the movie are played by Peter Jacobson and Lisa Edelstein, who would later appear on House (2004).
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The only film in which Jack Nicholson won an acting Oscar for his performance in a film which did not win Best Picture.
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Betty White, an animal rights activist, was offered the Shirley Knight (Beverly Connelly) role, but turned it down when she learned of how the dog would be mistreated in the movie.
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Danielle Spencer (who starred as Dee in the 70's television show "What's Happening!!") appears in this film as a veterinarian. This is actually her real-life profession.
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Jack Nicholson felt that it was really important for his character to hold that map.
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Uma Thurman was considered for the role of Carol, but the producers turned her down because she was too young.
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An earlier version of the script was called "Old Friends". It was listed as one of the best unproduced screenplays by Movieline Magazine, and had Kevin Kline and Mike Newell attached at one point to star in and direct it, respectively.
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It's never mentioned, but the filmmakers decided that Frank Sachs (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) was bisexual.
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The song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was written by Eric Idle as the ending melody for Monty Python's Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979). It has become a favorite in the UK for footballers, and even funerals.
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The movie was originally called "Old Friends". Hans Zimmer suggested renaming it.
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Both Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear were age 34 at the film's release in December 1997. In fact, their birthdays are 2 days apart in June 1963.
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As of 2019, features Greg Kinnear's only Oscar nominated performance.
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Shirley Knight and Jack Nicholson attended acting school together. Knight passed away on Nicholson's 83rd birthday (April 22, 2020).
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When Melvin and Carol are in the restaurant in Maryland, the singer in the background is Danielle Brisebois, perhaps most recognisable for having played Archie and Edith's niece Stephanie on All in the Family (1971). The song she is singing is Fallen, which was the love theme from Pretty Woman (1990).
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Melvin has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). His anxieties and fears lead to repetitive behavior.
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Melanie Griffith was offered the role of Carol Connelly, and wanted to take the role, but was pregnant with Stella Banderas at the time.
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The role of Melvin Udall was initially offered to John Travolta.
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John Cusack considered the role of Simon Bishop, but pulled out due to conflicts with writing, filming, and producing Grosse Pointe Blank (1997).
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Cuba Gooding Jr.; and three Oscar nominees: Greg Kinnear, Shirley Knight, and Lawrence Kasdan.
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The MPAA originally rated this film R. It was reduced to PG-13 on appeal.
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Bill Murray was considered for the role of Melvin Udall.
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The exterior used for Melvin Udall's and Simon Bishop's apartment building is located near 5th Avenue on 12th Street in Manhattan.
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The film cast contains several directors acting in small part:- Lawrence Kasdan, Harold Ramis, Todd Solondz, Shane Black, and actors-turned-directors Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
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Features Yeardley Smith and James L. Brooks, who both work on The Simpsons (1989); and Maya Rudolph's first speaking feature film role.
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Jack Nicholson helped create Melvin's wardrobe. He and costume designer Molly Maginnis wanted a "downtown" look.
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The filmmakers wanted Carol to look like an Edgar Degas painting
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Carol's neighborhood of Windsor Terrace is just off Brooklyn's Prospect Park. James L. Brooks liked the area so much, he considered making a documentary about it.
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Co-writer Mark Andrus wanted to write a movie about "the vilest man in New York City".
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At the end of this film, when the credits begin to roll, the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" performed for this film by Art Garfunkel, begins to play. Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel appeared in Carnal Knowledge (1971).
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Art Garfunkel auditioned for the role of Simon.
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Verdell was written to give Melvin humanity and to help make him a better person.
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Entertainment Weekly listed the film under its original title, "Old Friends", in their fall movie preview from the August 22/29, 1997 issue. James L. Brooks felt that the title "just doesn't say it for me." Brooks considered several other titles, including "Rock Bottom" and "The Bright Side of Life", but couldn't best the original title. Eventually, the film earned the new title, in time for posters and trailers to be released.
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The role of Carol Connelly was initially offered to Holly Hunter.
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In one take, Helen Hunt read eighteen straight pages of the thank you letter.
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Courtney Love turned down the role of Carol, as she was recording the "Celebrity Skin" album with her band Hole. She also felt she was too young for the part at the time.
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Shirley Knight's real-life actress daughter, Kaitlin Hopkins, has a cameo in this film. Her character bumps into Helen Hunt, who plays her on-screen daughter, in the lobby.
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Jack Nicholson and James L. Brooks third of what would be 4 films together. The others being Terms of Endearment (1983), Broadcast News (1987), and How Do You Know (2010).
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The clip on the television is from an episode of I Dream of Jeannie (1965).
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In Ironweed (1987), Jack Nicholson told Meryl Streep, "By God, Helen, that's as good as it gets," after her character sings the song, "He's Me Pal," in his honor.
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Jesse James wasn't intimidated to work with Jack Nicholson. He just thought of him as an "old guy" who was really nice.
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James L. Brooks purposely made the bathrobes the same as the ones in Last Tango in Paris (1972).
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Jack Nicholson played a writer/author in The Shining (1980).
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Skeet Ulrich and Jamie Kennedy play two of the three thieves. They both appeared in Scream (1996).
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The only film that year to be nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars, it won both awards.
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The veterinarian that Melvin brings Verdell to board with is played by Danielle Spencer, who was Raj's annoying little sister Dee on "What's Happening." Danielle Spencer is, in fact, a practicing veterinarian.
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Jack Nicholson plays an author in this, he was offered the role of Paul Sheldon in Misery (1990) who was also an author.
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The inside of Carol's apartment is a set, but they based it on a real apartment in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.
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Paul Gross auditioned for the part of Simon Bishop, but the director told him he was too "fine-featured" for the part.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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This film features two actresses who play mothers-in-law in Desperate Housewives (2004). Lupe Ontiveros, who plays Simon's maid, portrays Juanita Solis, mother of Gabrielle's (Eva Longoria) husband. Meanwhile, Shirley Knight, Carol's mother in this film, plays Phyllis Van De Kamp, Bree's (Marcia Cross) mother-in-law.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to not be nominated for Best Director.
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The sketches of the dog in the background were drawn by New York City's artist Joan Semmel.
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Film debut of Jesse James.
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Jack Nicholson's character of "Melvin Udall" shares the last name with a character "Dr. Udall", a one off character played by Shelley Berman in the first season of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Both projects were written by James L. Brooks.
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When still known as "Old Friends" Liza Minnelli was considered for a role.
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This film would technically be the second consecutive film to feature Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. The latter starred in Twister (1996), which featured a scene where a drive-in theater was playing The Shining (1980), starring Nicholson.
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During a scene in Twister (1996), when they're at the drive-in, the movie playing is The Shining (1980) starring Jack Nicholson. Helen Hunt starred in Twister (1996).
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This was the first film Lisa Edelstein and Helen Hunt appeared in together. Edelstein has a brief cameo early in the film as a restaurant patron Jack Nicholson insults. Edelstein would go on to have a more considerable sized role in What Women Want (2000) which also starred Helen Hunt.
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