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In the move “As Good as it Gets” are many interpersonal relationships that are going on with the lead character played by Jack Nicholson. In this essay I am going to discuss and analyze the relationships between Melvin, his neighbor who is a homosexual, Simon Bishop. Also there is a relationship between Melvin and his neighbor’s friend Frank Sachs. The last relationship is the most interesting and powerful, Melvin and the dog.
In the move Melvin is against homosexuality and he is always abusing Simon, because of his sexual orientation, homosexuality and he uses heterosexual language. This show how inappropriate is homosexuality. Moreover, it upsets gay and lesbians. In this situation, Melvin have chosen to say a couple of critical statements about the neighbor’s orientation and he even predicted Simon that he will cruelly suffer in hell.
The language and self-talk that Melvin is using toward Simon scares Simon and makes him feel worsless while also bringing down his morals. Melvin over and over gain tells Simon that his way of living is wrong and Melvin’s is right. In terms of effective interpersonal relationship this form of self-talk and criticism is wrong and extreme and leads to disconfirmation toward Simon, for Melvin’s imagined attitude toward homosexuality and not his human worse (Beebe, et al 48).
Near the end of the movie Simon has realized that he has no money and has nowhere to live. So Simon must try to call his parents and ask them to help him with money, but Simon and his parents do to talk to each other for a long time. At this point, Simon faces a lot of communication-apprehension (Reducing Communication Barriers 2) towards his parents, and the financial issue and his future without money, leads Simon’s interpersonal relationship with main character, Melvin change to better.
When Simon became aggressive to Melvin, in other words when he stopped being sensitive and so shy their relationship changes.
Melvin and Simon began to develop friendship with each other. We can see how relationship theory works in this particular situation in the move. First, the uncertainty reduction theory takes place almost immediately after Simon and Melvin went to the trip to his parent’s house. When Simon was talking to Carol and explaining why he and his parents have not talk to each other, Melvin realizes that Simone is good person and he somehow start to emphasize with him (Beebe, et al 317).
After conversation about his parents, Simon and Melvin began to unite with each other and Melvin realizes that he was a little bad to Simon.
Their relationship between them continues to flower all the way through the end of the movie solving the arguments between Melvin and Simon. Simon moves to Melvin’s flat and both receive relationship satisfaction with each other because Simon having a home to live in that helps him to cope with his tragedy, on the other hand Melvin is happy to have a friend and a dog.
Next interpersonal relationship is between Simon’s friend, Frank Sachs. He is an antique dealer that during the movie he always helps Simon when it is advantageous to him. In the beginning of the move Frank is approaching Melvin about Simon’s lost dog. For the reason that Frank is African-American Melvin stereotypes him as s terrifying huge man and also because he is Simon’s friend he thinks that he is gay as well (Beebe, et al 112). Melvin is treating Frank as a stereotype and talk to him with critical statements until Frank shows him that he is not taking any offensive remarks from him. Since that point we can observe the conflict between them
In the move had a couple of meeting with Frank that was friendly, but still they were almost without disclosure and also were highly monitored by Frank (Beebe, et al, 65). Frank used a lot of verbal aggressiveness and argumentativeness with Melvin in order to call attention to several of his statements. By using this tool of conflict, Frank breaks down Melvin’s psychological state and force him to respect what he tells him.
Even though Melvin and Frank were not shown during the movie many times, their relationship is unique because there are no characters in the movie with an interpersonal relationship with Melvin that is as aggressive and forceful. In the beginning of the move we see that Melvin respected Frank but no one else due to the fact that he is extremely selfish.
In the move the relationship between Melvin and the dog is the most interesting and emotional. Melvin is obviously has an obsessive-compulsive disorder because he is using a new bar of soap every time he washes his hands. When Frank ordered him watch after the dog he agreed because he respected Frank as I have mentioned above .
Through non-verbal communication with a dog, Melvin overcomes his emotional conflict and self-orientation. Melvin and the dog developed relationship. This relationship typically follows all the stages of relationship development.
First stage is initial attraction because Melvin communicate with the dog for filling basic needs(Beebe, et al 329).
Second stage is Storge , Melvin continues communicate with the dog by feeding him bacon and walking him again and again (Beebe, et al 329).
Third stage is Pragma, at this stage Melvin fallen in love with the dog, on the other hand the dog also has shown a strong behavior towards Melvin. Communication is nonverbal because the dog communicates with Melvin by listening to him and setting next to him (Beebe, et al 329).
All this stages reflect love on the nonverbal level. Melvin and the dog developed close and intimate friendship. It helped Melvin to become more other-oriented and he learned how to make sacrifices for others, not just the dog. The dog became important for Melvin and we also can see that he even expressed his deepest thoughts to the dog.
I think As Good as it Gets is funny and touching move with different personalities and relationships between characters. Melvin influenced lives of different characters and developed a few different interpersonal relationships. When Melvin overcame his personal problems he became more sensitive to others and learned how to develop effective interpersonal relationship and also he learned how to save it and appreciate it as well.