Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive, offensive, sarcastic romance writer working on his 62nd novel. He lives in a New York apartment and makes it a sport to ridicule his young, gay, artist neighbor, Simon Nye (Greg Kinnear). Daily he walks to a diner where he eats his meals. Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt) is the only waitress that seems to be able to put up with his relentless abuses. She is a single mother raising a son with asthma.
As misfortune befalls Simon and Carol, Melvin is drawn into their lives, quite against his will. While dealing with his own shortcomings as the outside world affects his egocentric universe, he finds a softer spot inside of himself than he knew he had. The monster that wreaked havoc upon everyone he came in contact with starts becoming a reluctant benefactor.
This is a tour-de-force performance by Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, with a nice appearance of Cuba Gooding Jr. of “Show Me The Money” Jerry Maguire, which was released just a year before.
As Good As it Gets is as good as it gets.