“It doesn’t get better” is 24 years old, but it’s also worth tuning in to when it’s broadcast again this Friday on ZDFneo. This is primarily thanks to the great cast – who were rightly honored at the Oscars.
The 1998 Academy Awards were endorsed by “Titanic“Which impressively dominated. James Cameron’s mix of tragic love story and epochal catastrophe drama took home eleven awards. Only the monumental classic “Ben Hur” (and later “The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King”) succeeded in doing this. In two main categories, however, a much smaller tragicomedy successfully resisted.
Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both deservedly scooped up the Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars for their roles in As Good As It Gets – and thus also stabbed the “Titanic stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio (although DiCaprio, later credited for The Revenant, didn’t even make it into the nominees). In fact, since then, no other film has managed to win the trophies in both leading actor categories.
Nicholson and Hunt’s wonderful interaction can be seen again today on television: ZDFneo shows “It doesn’t get better” on May 13, 2022, at 8:15 p.m. A repeat will also run again on the night of May 14th to 15th from 3 a.m. The film is also currently included in the Netflix subscription.
Jack Nicholson as the lovable disgust
Jack Nicholson’s brilliant performance in “It’s as Good as It Gets” is made clear by the fact that his character Melvin Udall is an absolute disgust – but in the long run you can’t help but love him. The obsessive-compulsive best-selling author lashes out at everything and everyone around him before Nicholson gradually elicits the necessary humanity against the odds – without the transformation being the least bit unbelievable or betraying the character. No one else could complete this tightrope act in such a wonderfully diabolical and touching way as Jack Nicholson.
The self-sacrificing waitress Carol, who is embodied by Helen Hunt in an extremely human and approachable manner, also makes a decisive contribution to Udall’s thawing and is thus easily made the heart of the story. The fact that the whole thing works so well is not only due to the splendid interaction between the two stars but also to the smart script by director and “The Simpsons” co-creator James L. Brooks, in which the humor sits as well as the moving moments.