The wise asshole is a prime role for Jack Nicholson. But the other actors also shine in this comedy. Our TV tip
When Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) opens his mouth, a precisely formulated meanness is sure to emerge. Melvin is a master of verbal attacks and bad insults. Even the waitresses in his regular café run away at the sight of him. Only Carol (Helen Hunt) is not frightened by Melvin’s toxicity; as the single mother of a sick boy, she already has enough struggles. And then there’s the promising artist Simon (Greg Kinnear), unlucky enough to be Melvin’s neighbor.
But then Simon is attacked, Carol resigns and Melvin’s bitingly balanced world falls apart … In 1997, director James L. Brooks demonstrated a flair for the ideal cast: Jack Nicholson shines with pointed malice and tragic vulnerability, Helen Hunt is allowed to be real and natural , and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Jerry Maguire”) is making his small role big again. It’s not difficult to forgive some of the story’s weaknesses.
Text: Bärbel Pfannerer
“It couldn’t be better” runs at 8:15 pm on ZDF Neo.
December 17, 2020 // Matthias Jordan