Movie Critique

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Helen Hunt plays the single-mom, waitress Carol who, like Melvin, is lonely and searching. She is most devoted to her son and sometimes demands more emotional support from him than a child can give. Because her experiences with men have been negative, she is justifiably suspicious of men’s motives. She is a woman who is weary and has lost her reason for being, if she ever had knew what it was in the first place.

Like Melvin, Carol also undergoes a change in the movie. When her sick son begins to get better, Carol begins to find herself. When she does, viewers see an exuberant Carol who wants to laugh and who wants to dance. Also like Melvin, change does not come easy. When Melvin shows interest in her she does not know how to handle it and her past experiences keep her from being able to accept people’s sincerity. For example, she assumes that Melvin is providing healthcare for her son so that she will have to repay him sexually.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays Frank Sachs. He is an art dealer who works with Simon. Besides being an art dealer he is Simon’s only ally in the world. His character is the exact opposite of what one would imagine for an art dealer. In the movie he is the only one who has self confidence and the only one who can intimidate Nicholson’s character into doing what he wants. Though his character plays a supporting role and his appearances are few, Frank’s presence is the one who moves the plot along and the reason that the three other characters find themselves in conflict with themselves and with each other. This begins with his making Melvin take the dog.

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