There are many movies that depict psychological disorders such as multiple personality disorders, schizophrenia and paranoia. Choosing to include real psychological conditions in films gives people a chance to gain insight on these conditions from an entertaining view point. One important film that depicts the common obsessive compulsive disorder is As Good As It Gets. It has many components of this psychological disorder that can be studied and evaluated on a deeper level.
As Good As It Gets stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. This movie is about a writer who has obsessive compulsive disorder and is rather rude to his neighbors and the people around him. His next door neighbor, who is an artist, gets robbed in his home and beaten. So because of this, Jack is asked against his will to watch the neighbor’s dog while he recovers. So while watching the dog, Jack discovers that he can ease up and relax a little bit. He enjoys life a little more. Jack ends up helping a waitress that usually takes care of him by paying for the medical expenses of her sick child. Throughout the movie, Jack learns how to communicate with people better. He learns lessons about having relationships with people.
This movie relates to concept of social development in developmental psychology. This is shown mostly with the main character that Jack Nicholson plays. He has displayed a lack of social development throughout the movie by being anti-social, racist, and very pessimistic. He did not know how to interact with other people. From a young age, children form friendships in which they understand how to deal with emotions. And with these early social interactions, identity forms within the child. In the case of Jack Nicholson’s character, it is clear that his social life has been hindered and he enjoys being alone with no interactions.
Although social behaviors are learned throughout development, Jack’s character begins to change his ways and views of people while the movie continues to progress. Along with the social behavior disorder he displays, he also feels the need to temporarily remove his anxiety through repetitive actions such as locking the door seven times. All of these actions have been learned and repeated throughout his life but the movie shows that it can be changed slightly and slowly. He begins to get a little better as he opens up to different people in his life. This movie shows that one with this disorder can change through interaction with other people.