TFAC screens “As Good As It Gets,” Nov. 7

Published 4:28 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tryon Fine Arts Center’s Film Series featuring Leading Ladies continues with “As Good As It Gets” starring Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

In her role as Carol Connelly, Helen Hunt is a waitress in the restaurant where best-selling novelist Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) has his breakfast every day. She is the only member of the wait staff who can tolerate his obsessive-compulsive behavior and his misanthropic attitude. This is not a normal set-up for a romantic comedy, nor is Verdell a normal name for a dog (who also plays a key role in the film) but this film leads us through many surprises, both tender and completely outrageous, before reaching its conclusion.

Directed by James L. Brooks, “As Good As It Gets” won the golden Globe Award for Best Film, Musical or Comedy, and both Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson won Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards for their roles. The film also features good performances by Cuba Gooding, Jr., Skeet Shirley Ulrich, Greg Kinnear, and Shirley Knight. Verdell was played by six Brussels Griffons named Timer, Sprout, Debbie, Billy, Parfait, and Jill.

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Born in Culver City, Calif., where her mother was a photographer and her father a film, voice, and stage director and acting coach, Helen Hunt began her acting career as a child when she played Murray Slaughter’s daughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s and also appeared in “The Facts of Life” and “The Swiss Family Robinson. Her first leading role in a TV series was  in “It Takes Two,” rising to TV stardom in the very popular TV series “Mad About You” with co-star Paul Reiser, for which she won four Emmy Awards.

Films in this series are shown at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month (unless otherwise noted), with the lobby opening at 6:15 for ticket sales and refreshments. For more information about this film series and other events at Tryon Fine Arts Center, visit

– article by Frances Flynn