"As Good As it Gets" was on cable TV tonight and I watched it all the way through while doing other things. I think that's how it was meant to be watched, like really good but not particularly ambitious television. . . . very likable despite being too long and misshapen. I know it's a standard knock on writer-director James L. Brooks to say that he makes excellent sitcoms for the big screen, but this one really does feel like five sitcom episodes smooshed together.
Given my biases, I'm hard put to explain what I find so remarkable about As Good as It Gets, though Brooks's movies, starting with his second feature, Broadcast News, have long been guilty pleasures of mine. He's made quantum leaps since his first feature, Terms of Endearment... How he emerged an abler artist is worth puzzling over; I suspect it has something to do with sheer instinct triumphing over industry machinery.