Acerbic and outwardly despicable pulp novelist, Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson), lives in a haze of obsessive-compulsive behavior patterns; avoiding cracks in the sidewalk and rigidly adhering to his regimen of daily breakfasts in the cafe where harried, single mom, Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), is the only waitress he'll accept. But his ordered, hermetic world falls apart when his neighbor (Greg Kinnear), a gay painter, needs a baby-sitter for his cherished dog -- and only his longtime nemesis Melvin will do. Then, when the waitress' son's serious illness keeps her from work, Melvin realizes how much he needs her after all. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Supporting Actor--Greg Kinnear, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score (Musical/Comedy), and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Academy Awards: Best Actor--Jack Nicholson and Best Actress--Helen Hunt.