Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) from As Good As it Gets (1997) utters these words in what is a rather excellent film, to be honest. This quote was submitted to the largely odious Buzzfeed (apologies to any fans, but we really can’t start that dive) as a great “romantic” quote: “You make me want to be a better man.” Is it really romantic? He wants to be a better man, but will he bother going through with it?
Had the events of the film been a reality, Helen Hunt would now still only be 52 and she’d be married with kids to the cantankerous 78 year old Jack Nicholson. Is that 26 year age gap insurmountable, or is it just us? Anyway, we decided to do a quote off on varying phrases which Mr. Nicholson could have ad-libbed whilst on set. Why not?
You make me want to be a better man
Let’s start things off with the real quote. Being serious for a moment, Nicholson delivers the line earnestly and not like the Joker in that Batman film he was in back in ’89. It wouldn’t have been good acting if he’d done that. Full marks, Jack!
You make me want to be a woman
This would have made for a rather different type of film, huh?
You make me want to be a butter man
Margarine or butter? It’s one of life’s many difficulties. Clearly, Melvin has no problem making his mind up after meeting Helen Hunt.
You make me want to be a betting man
Having staved off a potential gambling addiction his entire life, Helen Hunt makes Melvin Udall cave in and place a $50,000 bet on a 351/1. Fool!
You make me want Toby, he’s a better man than you’ll ever be!
We don’t know who (or whom) Toby is, but if Melvin’s made up his mind then that’s the way to be.
You make me want to be
Suffering an existential crisis, Melvin contemplates how to “be” – what a stupid old git.
You make me want to be a batting man
Has Jack Nicholson ever been in a film about cricket? Perhaps now is the time!
You make me want to be a baguette man
We all love baguettes, but cantankerous old Udall probably doesn’t. Can Helen Hunt turn him onto the right kind of bread path?
You make me want to be a belting man
“Belting” as in “awesome” in British vernacular – kind of the same thing as “better” but we think belting is a better adjective here.
You make me want to be a belching man
Heck, after our Mozart and scatological humour post we’ve got to get at least one bit of dodgy humour in.
You make me want to watch Better Call Saul
We’re enjoying the Netflix series a great deal. It’s not Breaking Bad, but it doesn’t need to be!
You make me want to be a bitter man
There’s nothing wrong with growing old and being bitter about everything. We’ve already mastered the art at only 31. Bastards!
You make me want to be a sweater man
Melvin Udall would look great in sweaters so hopefully Helen Hunt will knit him some after this statement.
You make me want to be a sweating man
Mind you, if they did get into a relationship Udall would have to lose some weight so he’d have to hit the gym and sweat out a few pounds.
You make me want to be an Irish setter man
What’s wrong with the dog/enlarged hamster you’ve got there, Udall?
You make me want to be a settee man
Udall prefers chairs, but he finally gives in to the urge of long upholstered furniture arrangements. Good on you, man!
You make me want to be a beggar, man
Udall wants to give up his career as a writer to be a beggar? Whatever, dude.
You make me want to be a bigger man
In this version of the film, Udall decides to become the most morbidly obese human being in history. Nice goal, sir! Honourable.
You make me want to be a weatherman
Who wouldn’t want to be a weatherman? Even women would love that job title!
You make me want to be a lesser man
Why not? There’s nothing wrong with lowering your standards.