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A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.
Warren Schmidt has led a safe, predictable life working in the insurance industry in Omaha, Nebr. for many years, yet now faces retirement. At the same time he is forced to take a hard look at his wife, his life and his relationship with his estranged daughter. An often hilarious series of events follow as Schmidt embarks on an unpredictable RV journey to attend his daughter's wedding in Denver. Written by
In the shot where Warren and Helen pull up to the restaurant for Warren's retirement dinner, the sign writes "retirement" as "retirment." See more »
[Warren is on top of the motor home under a starry night]
Helen, what did you really think of me, deep in your heart? Was I really the man you wanted to be with? Was I? Or were you disappointed and too nice to show it? I forgive you for Ray. I forgive you. That was a long time ago, and I know I wasn't always the king of kings. I let you down. I'm sorry, Helen. Can you forgive me? Can you forgive me?
[a shooting star passes by]
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This is the saddest movie I've seen in years, maybe in my entire life. People who say it's comedy are dead wrong. It's a realistic, brutally true example of a failed life, and it's so tragic.
Nicholson plays Warren Schmidt, an insurance salesman, whose life crashes down on him when he retires. Nicholson, someone I've loved ever since I first saw him, gives his best performance since "One flew over the cuckoos nest". He's so subtle, so sad, so hollow. You don't doubt for a second that he is Schmidt. He has let his body age for the role, which makes him even more real.
Alexander Payne's direction is flawless. Everyone, simply everyone, does a great job portraying the various characters, from the hotshot newly educated young man who takes Schmidt's job, to the embarrassing buddy of Schmidt's daughter's fiancé.
This is a must-see movie. Even if you hate Jack in all his other movies, you will love him in this one. Don't expect a "hilarious comedy", though. This is a thoughtful movie and not "Anger Management".
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