Melvin Udall and the Voices in My Head

As Good As It Gets

Dr. Green, how can you diagnose someone as an obsessive compulsive disorder, and then act like I have some choice about barging in here?

In my head, many characters provide live commentary to my life, one of whom is Melvin Udall (played by Jack Nicholson in As Good As it Gets)

At times, when I’m irritated, I can hear him say:

Never, never, interrupt me, okay? Not if there’s a fire, not even if you hear the sound of a thud from my home and one week later there’s a smell coming from there that can only be a decaying human body and you have to hold a hanky to your face because the stench is so thick that you think you’re going to faint. Even then, don’t come knocking. Or, if it’s election night, and you’re excited and you wanna celebrate because some fudgepacker that you date has been elected the first queer president of the United States and he’s going to have you down to Camp David, and you want someone to share the moment with. Even then, don’t knock. Not on this door. Not for ANY reason. Do you get me, sweetheart?

Or when somebody is being horribly optimistic about a terrible situation:

It’s not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that’s their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you’re that pissed that so many others had it good.

Or about the people I love:

I might be the only person on the face of the earth that knows you’re the greatest woman on earth. I might be the only one who appreciates how amazing you are in every single thing that you do, and how you are with Spencer, “Spence,” and in every single thought that you have, and how you say what you mean, and how you almost always mean something that’s all about being straight and good. I think most people miss that about you, and I watch them, wondering how they can watch you bring their food, and clear their tables and never get that they just met the greatest woman alive. And the fact that I get it makes me feel good, about me.

And I’ll leave you with this:

P.S. OK, I lied. I have two more quotes from the movie. Every time I see an envelope from my insurance company, I hear the conversation between Carol and the doctor:

Carol: Fucking H.M.O. bastard pieces of shit!
Carol’s Mother: Carol!
Carol: Sorry.
Doctor: It’s okay. Actually, I think that’s their technical name.

And finally, I leave you Carol’s boyfriends parting words:

Just a little too much reality for a Friday night.

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