Running head: AS GOOD AS IT GETS AND OCD
As Good as it Gets and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Melvin Udall lives a very unhappy, isolated life as a writer. He spends most days indoors with the exception of his daily trip to his local restaurant, where he methodically performs a multitude of rituals before actually eating. He walks on the sidewalk so as to avoid stepping on cracks and brushing against other people. He wears gloves and wipes off the handles of doors. He brings his own silverware and sanitizes his immediate area all upon sitting down. He insists upon the same server every time—Carol—whom he treats poorly and you would never assume he actually prefers. The people in his apartment building detest him, as he is always abundantly rude to them. He has no tolerance for different sexual preferences, ethnicities, religions, or people in general. He also dislikes dogs. Melvin is diagnosed as having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. His life is the complete product of his disorder, and everywhere he goes and everything he does is related to it in some way. Melvin is out of control, lonely, and unhappy. In an instant, Melvin’s life changes. His neighbor Simon—the gay artist—is beaten horribly by some teenagers. In a strange turn of events, Simon's art dealer, Frank, forces Melvin to look after Simon’s dog while he recovers in the hospital. Although entirely reluctant, Melvin begins to warm up to the dog, with the pooch even mimicking Melvin’s compulsive and ritualistic behavior. Soon Melvin encounters another challenge, because he arrives at his local restaurant, and Carol is not there to serve him. She is home with her AS GOOD AS IT GETS AND OCD
young son, who is very sick. He ends up getting thrown out of the restaurant, followed by applause from the regulars. Melvin finds out where Carol lives and actually goes to her home. She is disgusted, but also slightly touched. He offers to pay her doctor...