Obsessive Compulsive Disorder In "As Good As It Gets"

1239 words - 5 pages

"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 to solicit financial help from his estranged parents. Melvin agrees to help, but believes that he cannot survive the trip alone, so he persuasively invites Carol. Though Carol is hesitant, she feels obligated to repay Melvin's kindness to her son, so the three embark on the journey. Along the way, Melvin repeatedly insults Carol, strengthening her bond with Simon. After spending a night in Carol's company, Simon realizes that his situation could be a lot worse, and decides that he no longer requires help. The three head back, but Simon's home no longer exits. Since his apartment has been sublet, Simon moves in with Melvin. It is at this point that Melvin finally admits his love for Carol, and goes to her place to tell her. The story concludes as Melvin gives up his obsessions, and tries to be the type of man Carol needs and deserves.Abnormal Psychology in "As Good As It Gets"--Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder--Melvin Udall, the leading character in the movie "As Good As It Gets," suffers from a severe case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He displays symptoms of this disorder through his fear of contamination. This fear prevents him from living a simple, carefree life because he is excessively meticulous in everything he does. He is deprived of the ability to walk casually down the street, and instead stays on the sidewalk,...

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