In As Good As It Gets, Melvin Udall, Jack Nicholson, is a successful novelist who lives an isolated existence in a New York apartment building. He`s a real grouch, a bigot and a fanatic, and at first you think he`s a pain in the bum - until you realise he has a medical problem. Melvin`s a sick man. But there`s a cure in sight - two cures, actually. During the course of this story, Melvin`s crankiness and obsessivness are worn down first by his friendship for an ugly little dog, the property of Simon, Greg Kinnear, his gay neighbour, and then by his concern for Carol, Helen Hunt, the only waitress he`ll let serve him at the only eatery he patronises. Melvin has a heart, of sorts.... James L. Brooks, whose work for the cinema consists of only three previous films, Terms Of Endearment, Broadcast News and the fascinating but flawed II`ll Do Anything, has come up with a crowd-pleasing formula with As Good As It Gets, which has already scored at the Golden Globe awards. This is the kind of film you have to enjoy while you`re watching it, because it doesn`t make a lot of sense in retrospect - what on earth does Carol see in Melvin? But the performances, especially Nicholson and Hunt, are simply terrific - and the dog`s not bad either. Brooks is a whiz with dialogue - and as long as you don`t analyse it too closely, As Good As It Gets is snappy entertainment.