As Good as It Gets script
Synopsis: Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction who's rude to everyone he meets, including his gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear), but when he has to look after Simon's dog, he begins to soften and, if still not completely over his problems, finds he can conduct a relationship with the only waitress (Helen Hunt) at the local diner who'll serve him.

FADE IN:

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING (NEW YORK), HALLWAY - NIGHT

ANGLE ON apartment doorway. As it opens and an

enormously SWEET-FACED, ELDER WOMAN steps out, bungled up

against the cold -- turning back to call inside to the

unseen love of her long life.

SWEET-FACED WOMAN

I'm just going to get some

flowers, dear. I'll be back in

twenty minutes. It's tulip season

today. I'm so happy.

And now she turns and faces the hallway... her sweetness

dissolves in a flash... replaced by repulsion and that

quickly she has reversed herself and re-entered her

apartment... closing the door as we consider her vacated.

POV - MELVIN UDALL

in the hallway... Well past 50... unliked, unloved,

unsettling. A huge pain in the ass to everyone he's ever

met. Right now all his considerable talent and strength

is totally focused on seducing a tiny dog into the

elevator door he holds open.

MELVIN:

Come here, sweetheart... come on.

ON DOG:

Sniffing at a particular spot on the hall carpeting.

Melvin lets the elevator door close and advances on the

mutt who has ignores him.

MELVIN:

Wanna go for a ride? Okay,

sweetie?

The dog lifts his leg at the precise moment Melvin lunges

and picks him up with a decisive heft -- so that dog

urine squirts the hall wall for a second or two. The DOG

sensing a kindred spirit starts to GROWL and BARK.

MELVIN:

(a malevolent tone)

You've pissed your last floor, you

dog-eared monkey.

The dog takes a snap at Melvin, but the man is much

meaner and quicker than the dog -- he holds his snout

shut with his hand and reaches for the door of the

garbage chute.

MELVIN:

I'll bet you wish you were some

sort of real dog now, huh? Don't

worry... this is New York. If you

can make it here, you can make it

anywhere, you know? You ugly,

smelly fuck.

And with that, he stuffs him in the garbage chute and

lets go. We hear a FADING SERIES of PLEADING "ANOOOOS"

from the DOG fade to nothingness... as another apartment

door opens emitting the loud sounds of a PARTY and SIMON

NYE, early 30s. Simon has been born and raised with

Gothic horror and it's strange that what that stew of

trauma has produced is a gifted, decent man.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING (NEW YORK), HALLWAY - NIGHT

Frantic... he bolts into the hall... Melvin is just about

to enter his apartment.

SIMON:

Verdell!?!! Here, good doggie...

He notices Melvin at the far end of the hall.

SIMON:

Mr. Udall... excuse me. Hey

there!

(as Melvin turns)

Have you seen Verdell?

MELVIN:

What's he look like?

Melvin starts to walk back to his apartment door which is

directly opposite Simon's.

SIMON:

My dog... you know... I mean my

little dog with the adorable

face... Don't you know what my dog

looks like?

MELVIN:

I got it. You're talking about

your dog. I thought that was the

name of the colored man I've been

seeing in the hall.

Simon looks O.S. -- and sees his black friend.

SIMON:

Which color was that?

MELVIN:

Like thick molasses, with one of

those wide noses perfect for

smelling trouble and prison

food...

Simon has had it.

SIMON:

Frank Sachs -- Melvin Udall.

MELVIN:

(not missing a beat)

How're you doing?

SIMON:

Franks shows my work, Mr. Udall. I

think you know that.

FRANK:

(overlapping)

Simon, you've got to get dressed.

MELVIN:

(to Simon)

What I know is that as long as you

keep your work zipped up around

me, I don't give a fuck what or

where you shove your show. Are we

being neighbors for now?

SIMON:

(to Frank)

Do you still think I was

exaggerating?

FRANK can only smile.

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Mark Andrus

Mark Andrus, born December 13, 1955 in Los Angeles, is an American screenwriter. more…

All Mark Andrus scripts | Mark Andrus Books

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"As Good as It Gets" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 15 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/as_good_as_it_gets_288>.

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