February 22nd, 2010
In 1997, I saw the movie “As Good as it Gets” with a boyfriend who turned out not to be as good as it gets. The guy is long gone but I have revisited the Oscar winning film over the years and I seem to resonate with it more and more. Many people that I have asked on the street, at parties and in my head agree. However, praise for the film is not uniform among critics. Roger Ebert gave "As Good As it Gets," three stars (out of four) and called the film a "compromise, a film that forces a smile onto material that doesn't wear one easily." This review was bizarre to me as most critics critique Roger Ebert for liking everything. Everything.
As I’ve written the last few days, I’m very committed to engulfing myself in “the sunny side of life.” As my readers know, on some days, my writing is rather reflective and then there are times when I write about my suspicion that men pee on each other in the men’s bathroom while chanting "Penis! Penis! Penis!" (Day 35 – Penis - http://jacquelinekabat.blogspot.com/2009/09/day-35-penis.html.)
A few years ago, I watched “As Good as it Gets,” downloaded the screenplay and wrote down my favorite lines. A real case study. I obviously thought it was pertinent enough to document. The lines seemed..I don't know..sunny. Regardless, I want to cement the dialogue that reached me in my little piece of the blogosphere . You might respond to it well or prefer to join Roger Ebert as he praises the genius of his home movies. On Betamax.
1) MELVIN - You make me want to be a better man
2) CAROL - It's really something that you're
looking after Simon. And what I
said on the street. That was a
bad thing to say. And it made me
sick to my stomach. It was a bad
thing to say. And I'd be lying if
I didn't say that I enjoyed your
company... but the truth is you do
bother me enormously and I know --
think -- that it's best for me to
not have contact with you because
you're just not ready and you're a
pretty old guy to not be ready...
and I'm too old to ignore that.
But there were extraordinary
kindnesses that did take place.
So thanks for the trips...
3) SIMON - But you know where you're lucky?
MELVIN - Absolutely not.
SIMON - You know who you want. I'll take
your seat any day. So do
4) CAROL - Stop it!! Why can't I have a
normal boyfriend??? Why? Get out
of here. Just a regular boyfriend
who doesn't go nuts on me...
BEVERLY - Everybody wants that, dear -- it
5) MELVIN - Just let me talk.
I'm the only one on the face of
the earth who realizes that you're
the greatest woman on earth. I'm
the only one who appreciates how
amazing you are in every single
thing you do -- in every single
thought you have... in how you
are with Spencer -- Spence...
... in how you say what you mean
and how you almost always mean
something that's all about being
straight and good...
I think most people miss that
about you and I watch wondering
how they can watch you bring them
food and clear their dishes and
never get that they have just met
the greatest woman alive... And
the fact that I get it makes me
feel great... about me!
You got a real good reason to walk
out on that?