25 Gay Films Everyone Should See, Part 3D

By Sean Bugg, Chris Heller, Will O'Bryan, Rhuaridh Marr, Doug Rule and Randy Shulman
Photography by Julian Vankim
Art Direction by Todd Franson
Model: Vladmire Goodwill
Published on February 21, 2013, 4:26am | Comments

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AS GOOD AS IT GETS (1997)

As Good As It Gets

As Good As It Gets

If you needed any proof that Greg Kinnear could act, look no further than this magnificent human dramedy from James L. Brooks, the man who brought Mary Tyler Moore and The Simpsons to our (once small) TV screens. Kinnear plays Simon, a gay artist whose brutal, near-death bashing brings him unwittingly into the path of Melvin (Jack Nicholson), an OCD misanthrope with extra bile for homosexuals, and Carol (Helen Hunt), a waitress who's an imperative part of Melvin's compulsive daily routine. The three go off on a road trip that draws them deeply and meaningfully into one another's lives. As Good As It Gets tells the story of Melvin and Carol's unlikely romance, but Simon is the catalyst. Kinnear's performance is notable for its down-to-earth sturdiness -- any flamboyance is saved for his agent, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in fey overdrive. Kinnear brings a vulnerability to Simon that is at once heartbreaking and sweetly affirming. It's a lovely, everyday portrayal of a gay man. Hunt and Nicholson both won Oscars for their extraordinary performances. Kinnear was nominated, but took home no trophies. He should have. Boy, he should have. --Randy Shulman


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