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About Schmidt (2002)

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A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3,894 ( 502)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 67 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mark Venhuizen ...
Cheryl Hamada ...
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Gary Nordin - Warren's Replacement
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Randall's Best Man (as James Micheal Connor)
Jill Anderson ...
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Storyline

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 wacoastguy

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Schmidt Happens

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 January 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Confissões de Schmidt  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$282,367 (USA) (13 December 2002)

Gross:

$65,010,106 (USA) (23 May 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Payne said the screenplay was a hybrid of both the novel About Schmidt and his own original screenplay, The Coward, which he wrote while a student at UCLA. The title, main character and overall plot and theme were kept from About Schmidt, while The Coward was a story about a closed-minded man having a spiritual awakening as he closes in on the end of his life. See more »

Goofs

When Warren calls Ray on a payphone, a pickup truck that has begun leaving a parking lot in the background in the wide shot is nowhere to be seen in the background a split-second later when the shot goes to close-up. See more »

Quotes

Roberta Hertzel: People used to think it was strange 'cause I breast-fed him 'til he was almost five, but I say - hunh, just look at the results!
See more »

Connections

References The Straight Story (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

You Wear It Well
(1972)
Written by Martin Quittenton (as M. Martin Quinttenton) and Rod Stewart
Performed by Rod Stewart
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Classic Cinema Art - A "Must See" Film!
8 April 2006 | by (Mt. Pleasant, Mi) – See all my reviews

I spent a day watching "About Schmidt", with Jack Nicholson... and then the evening rambling through reviews, since my wife's perception of the ending differed somewhat from mine....

Conflict can often lead to enlightenment and discovery, but not so in the case of Warren Schmidt. In his case it leads to a life of complacency, denial, delusion, and passive-aggressive behaviors... and eventually, to a meaningless life of servitude devoid of passion or purpose.

Since my wife and I are around the same age as the character, and we ponder the same issues of our lives, the film had more significance to us. I found the work to be a cinema-graphic piece of art laced with symbolism and dark humor (at best). I likened it to previous movies like "Death of a Salesman", "The Apartment", "The Swimmer" (Burt Lancaster), or a short filmed called "The Bridge".

As a cautionary tale (or social comment) on the "American Way" of life, the messages it conveys are slightly exaggerated, but nevertheless there to be debated. We are talking about identity, achievement, interpersonal relationships, and the "average IQ".

In the end, I believe this film will become one that is studied in future classrooms, and it was brave of Nicholson to participate in such a character study and a work intended primarily for writers, actors, and directors. If laughter is "the sound we make when we are surprised (or shocked) by the truth", then the amount of humor you find in this film may be directly related to your own level of naivety or denial. After all, laughter can often be just another defense mechanism, right?

Some movies are straightforward, some are magical, some are mystical, and then, some are symbolic. This movie falls into the last category. The use of time, space, cognitive dissonance, and Irony abound in this work and challenge us to look, think, and feel.

Notes: we would have cut or altered the "Percodan scene" at the rehearsal (as overdone), also note- the cattle at the funeral who later appear on the freeway, inside jokes about Des Moines and Denver, Randall's "Certificate of Attendance", the look on Jeannie's face at the end of Warren's speech at the Wedding Reception, the use of "overstatement", details of wall decorations, and Warren's obvious attraction to the trite, idealistic, delusional, and superficial.

If you are a thinking, feeling, serious movie-lover, you should SEE this film once, and then STUDY it the 2nd time!


37 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Jeannie misty-63
did anyone else HATE the last minute? Krak-the-Quacktastic-Cracker
Warren possibly not Jeannie's biological father? mollymarie
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