Half black-comedy, half romantic comedy As Good As It Gets tediously chronicles the evolving relationship between obsessive-compulsive romance novelist Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) and his favorite waitress, stressed-out single mother Carol (Helen Hunt). Complications abound in the form of Nicholson's tics and abrasive personality, and Hunt's wariness and ill son; Greg Kinnear proves himself a capable actor in his role as Simon, the gay artist neighbor who challenges Nicholson's rigid way of life. Despite the heavy-handed, self-indulgent screenplay and running time (140 minutes), the cast is uniformly excellent.
Picture: The disc is two-sided; Side A is widescreen, preserving the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and Side B is full screen. The picture quality is topnotch, clean and sharply detailed, with no oversaturation.
Audio: You have your choice of 2 channel and DD 5.1 soundtracks, and whatever way you listen to it, the sound quality is excellent. The dialogue is clear, as is Hans Zimmer's lively score.
Extras: Though the absence of theatrical trailers is disappointing, a commentary featuring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, co-writer and director James L. Brooks, producer Lawrence Mark, composer Hans Zimmer, and editor Richard Marks provides a humorous and insightful look into the making of As Good As It Gets. Production anecdotes, character motivations, and technical details are generously divulged; stay tuned during the credits to hear Nicholson's off-handed remarks about DVD technology. Other features include scene selections, an alternate French language track, and English, Spanish, and French subtitles.
Conclusion: Fans of As Good As It Gets or filmmaker Brooks' previous efforts (Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News) will find the disc well worth their money, despite sparse features.