What if this is as good as it gets?

One of my favorite movies is As Good As It Gets staring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in a romantic comedy that starts out with the assumption that everything is fucked up, but you can still have love.

A great scene. Melvin comes to Brooklyn to find out why Carol didn’t show up at work in Manhattan, so (according to Melvin) she could serve him breakfast.

  • Carol: Do you have any control over how creepy you allow yourself to get? Melvin: Yes I do, as a matter of fact. And to prove it, I have not gotten personal, and you have.

It has something for everyone.

Guys like me identify with Melvin. No one listens to us. We do crazy shit. Don’t step on the line. We’re rude. Everyone is offended. But we mean well. Not everyone can see that. We hope some day to meet our Carol so we can see goodness in her, that no one else sees, so she in turn can see the goodness in us. You may have to look hard but if you do you will see it.

But that’s just what I see.

The movie has a sick kid, a mother, a grandmother, a gay neighbor, a dog, a black art agent, a doctor, and a restaurant — and a crazy anal retentive grouchy romantic annoyed best-selling author.

Hey but the secret is everyone in the movie is crazy.

It’s one of those movies that I get something from every time I see it.

This is how we really are, not the idealized version that’s in so many movies.

We’re fucked up, totally, but we can still have love. 😉

The title itself is a great line. Melvin barges into the psychiatrist’s office and it occurs to him to ask the patients who are waiting what if this is as good as it gets? And then he rushes out.

The answer of course that it is as good as it gets. So you better find a way to make love even if life isn’t perfect. 🙂


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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