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
A scene that echoes Jack Nicholson's famous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces (1970) (his exchange with the waitress) was in an early cut of the movie in which Schmidt concedes in a cowardly fashion to the dictates of the waitress. Though the preview audience went wild over it, director Alexander Payne cut it from the final film because he felt that the scene was too much of a pointed reference to Nicholson's iconography and that something so referential took the audience out of the film. See more »
The key Helen picks out on her way to the car is not a car key. See more »
I know we're all pretty small in the big scheme of things, and I suppose the most you can hope for is to make some kind of difference, but what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me?
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This film must be watched very carefully. If you're not paying enough attention to it, you would miss it (some did). It's in the frames, the atmosphere, the tiny details, the situations, the acting, everything. But it's not that obvious, unless you enter that world. Simple story? Sure. Life is simple. So is great art. All in all, "About Schmidt" is a really great film. Bitter humor, all-pervading lie, the infinite sadness of loneliness and failure, sincere egoism, everyday dullness, desperate and quiet hope - this is life, and in a non-blatant, nor melodramatic manner. But you're going to weep (and smile) at the ending (I did!). And one more question: is The Mulholland Man the greatest actor ever or not?
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