Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in "As Good as it Gets"

Essay by strawberry_qteeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2004

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"As Good As It Gets"

--Plot Summary--

Melvin Udall is a homophobic, bitter, lonely man. He spends his days in the confinement of his own apartment, writing novels. Each morning he follows a routine, from sitting in the same seat at the restaurant, to demanding Carol to be his waitress, and even scaring away those who may be sitting in his spot when he arrives. It isn't until his homosexual neighbour, Simon, is brutally beaten and hospitalized, that Melvin learns to love. As he is forced to take care of Simon's dog, Melvin grows attached to the little animal, and learns to care for someone other than himself. This poses a problem when Simon returns and wishes to take his dog home. However, it seems as though the dog has grown as attached to Melvin as he has to it.

Melvin's world is turned upside down when Carol does not show up for work one morning.

Melvin, being his usual vulgar self, is kicked out of the restaurant, throwing off his entire routine. He decides to visit Carol's home in order to get back on track with his schedule, and finds that Carol's son, Spencer, is ill. Melvin, speaks with one of his few acquaintances, a doctor, and has him go and take care of Spencer, offering to pay for the medical bill so that Carol may return to her job and he may return to his routine.

In the meantime, Simon finds out that he is broke because of his costly medical bills. He is forced to fire his housekeeper, and as he is in a wheelchair, asks Melvin to walk his dog. Carol returns back to work, but Melvin's routine is disrupted yet again, when Simon's art dealer, Frank, asks him to drive Simon to Baltimore. Simon plans...