Thursday, October 12, 2006

Character Depth - Melvin Udall

From Pat (GimmeABreak):

He's a misanthropic romance novelist (there's complexity for you) who writes poetically about a love he's never known. He's a bully who delights in heaping abuse on everyone unfortunate enough to encounter him yet is impressed when someone has the guts to push back. He avoids touching other people but deliberately obstructs his favorite waitress so that she has to touch him to pass. He speaks rudely and crudely to people but whispers sweet nothings to a dog: "Don't be like me, don't you be like me. You stay just the way you are because you are a perfect man." He's afraid of many things but mostly afraid of others seeing his fear. He rejects first so that he won't have to suffer rejection. He's Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets. (An aside - while everyone loved Jack Nicholsen in this, I thought he was too much. The SP has many subtleties that didn't come across well or at all. This role needed someone that's usually seen as a nice guy - Michael Caine, Kevin Spacey or, stretching the age a little, Paul Newman).

6 comments:

Mystery Man said...

Great job, Pat! I really loved the line, "He's afraid of many things but mostly afraid of others seeing his fear."

Miriam said...

Yes, Jack handled the role with his own brand of acerbic wit, but he gave Melvin a real rough edge that made the final unveiling of his vulnerability very poignant. I'll go the other way, just for fun, and wonder what Billy Bob Thornton would have made of that role.

GimmeABreak said...

Billy Bob Thornton? As Good As It Gets for the Bad News Bears? I smell Morris Buttermaker. ;-)

Mystery Man said...

Hehehe...

Miriam said...

How about Melvin interpreted in the style of Carl from Slingblade? MmmHm.

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