Jack Nicholson received his third Oscar from his eleventh Oscar nomination for playing Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets.
As Good As It Gets is an okay romantic comedy, which has its strange characters, its moments of comedy and its moments of heart. A problem I find in the film though is the initial material of the film does not exactly meets its conclusion perfectly. Part of this relates to Nicholson performance and his character.
Jack Nicholson is a very good actor but I have to say he started to rely on just his natural charisma in his later work, and a lot less on the genuine great actor of his earlier work. As good as it gets is mostly Nicholson doing his Nicholson routine, which works, but it is not exactly brilliant from Nicholson himself.
Nicholson starts out the film as a very grumpy individual, who doesn't like anyone and is rude to everyone. I do like how Nicholson handles all of these scenes. Every scene he talks down to someone or the way he avoids touching people on the street but still it just is not anything amazing. His interactions with everyone are good enough, with Kinnear and particularly with Hunt, but he could not sell me on his fear of Cuba Gooding Jr's character. This is fine work from Nicholson for sure here but yet it still is not amazing.
Later though Nicholson changes, and has the line of becoming a better man. As much as I do like his chemistry with Hunt, I do not think the script or Nicholson's performance earn the change. It is not so sudden that it feels completely artificial but rather forced a bit too much. His change with the relationship with her is only slightly off, my bigger problem comes from his relationship with Kinnear. His character just despises the guy and then their last scene he says basically how much he cares for him. That is not earned in the least, and I was completely artificial, and extremely forced.
This is a performance that I believe has its strengths and its weaknesses, and Its also a performance that I believe gets weaker as it goes along. His work with Hunt is strong and their chesmistry is good despite problems resulting from the script, but the characters other changes are completely unearned by Nicholson or the script. Nicholson still does a fine job overall, and the script is the part that hurts his performance the most. It still is an entertaing piece of work, that certainly has its strong moments, with the weak ones.