"Sell crazy somewhere else. We're all stocked up here."


For a lot of moviegoers, it's likely that Jack Nicholson has worn out his welcome in recent years. It's easy to sympathize, given junk like Man Trouble and Wolf. That's why it's so gratifying to see him take on a role like Melvin Udall, rather than become a marginalized former star, which is where he seemed to be heading.

Melvin is a very neurotic man, and his favorite defense mechanism is to insult people in a most egregious and profane fashion. He's fallen in love with Carol the waitress (Helen Hunt), who barely tolerates him. To win her over Melvin's got to learn to lighten up just a little. The basic story is "boy gets girl against all odds," with the gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) and his struggles as a subplot. So forget the story, it's not what this movie is about. What it's about is the pleasure of watching Nicholson play Melvin, and watching two very good actors play off of him.