I'm still singing the closing tune as I write this review, "Always look on that bright side of life...."
Some films you should only see once, and some you should see at regular intervals throughout your life. It has been remiss of me to wait until now to see As Good As It Gets again, since it was first released in 1997.
In 1997 I was 25 years old, and while I would have understood most of the blatant concepts in this film, I sure missed a lot of the true gold.
This is a film about our relationship with our very own mind. More than that, it's about how powerful our mind is and how often it gets in our way.
For example, after Simon is beaten to within an inch of his life, his fear prevents him from being able to return to his painting - his art - his lifeline. We see him so distressed, his world falling apart around him, alone. Even Vedell doesn't want a bar of him. Fear can stop us in our tracks, but in an effort to 'protect' ourselves, we often withdraw from, well....life, to varying degrees. What is the point of saving ourselves for a life not lived?
Luckily, there's that Carol bathroom scene that triggers off his artistic instincts again and life is restored.
Then of course, we have our main protagonist, Melvin. Can I just say that for me, Jack Nicholson as Melvin is more like Mel Gibson as himself. Maybe OCD can explain all of Mel's issues too?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a pretty extreme example of a mind getting in the way of life. I don't need to describe Melvin's symptoms, they were very clear. Can I just note however, that I have never met someone with OCD who has the cleanliness obsession as well as a counting or checking compulsion. Add to the that, not standing on cracks, and poor old Melvin was well up against it!
My favourite part of the entire film is near the end, when he pauses at his door, on his way to win over Carol's heart.
"I forgot to lock the door."
That moment tells us everything about his readiness to be with her. She made him want to be a better man. He took his medicine. He forgot to lock the door (five times). Gold.
I am so glad I watched this film again. Thank you Graham.
I give it a 9/10.
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|I so loved this scene!!!|