It's supposed to be a classic but I really hate these movies where you have been watching for a while but can't make out what the hell the movie is all about. The synopsis on IMDB says "A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship". Based on that I'd NEVER have watched it, no matter how many academy awards it won. It won a few.
But two things made me watch it. One, it was a strong recommendation from a close friend. It's not like I trust her judgement in all films, but she is honest enough to say, "That's probably a chick flick you might not like that." so I have tried couple of her recommendations and so far they were working out, but this time... Two, it has Helen Hunt in the main lead who is one of my very favourite actresses. She's so cute and so real. I love her acting!
When you are 28 minutes into the movie and it hasn't started to make sense you start to wonder if that was the right decision to watch it. So, that's where I paused. But then, I also know a secret. I will tell you the secret and then your life will never be the same! Are you ready? Here we go. In EVERY movie... about 30 minutes in...something happens...something, that changes... everything!
After letting it stay on pause for a couple of hours I decided to give it a few more minutes.
Sure enough, the 30 minute rule worked, something happened, things started moving faster. And although I still suspect that this might be a chick flick I have to say, "Wow!" The way the plot unfolds piece by little piece, that is uncanny. No wonder it won the Best Screenplay award! I am not going to talk a lot about the actual events in the story because that would spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. I must say though, that while each event feels like it's a small, tiny piece that has no meaning, everything moves in the same direction, every little piece contributes to the overall plot.
There is humour in the story, in the beginning when the dog pees on the floor I groaned, "Oh my god! Is it one of those?" But thankfully, it's not one of those. The humour in the movie is very good, very subtle and always embedded in drama so you laugh out loud even when there's no laugh track and there's nothing to indicate that it was comedy.
So, I laughed a few times, I felt welling up a few times and I had some "Wow!" moments. All in all, I don't regret making this choice and I would watch it again in the future. Director James L. Brooks has done an amazing job in filming it like real life, so simple, so down to earth and so professional. Outstanding job!
Performances are as expected, fantastic. All 3 lead actors won Academy awards, no surprise. Jack Nicholson, of course, has done a superlative job in the role of an obsessive-compulsive, misanthropic author. Helen Hunt as a single mother, waitress, beautiful, good-hearted girl has done a great job. Greg Kinnear has done fantastically well as a gay artist.
The only problem with this movie is that it's a very successful, well-known film, and being the kind of film it is most women would have already watched it. Had that not been the case there are a few dialogues that could be extremely useful with women. But...oh well!