7.1/10
120,695
634 user 223 critic

About Schmidt (2002)

Trailer
2:36 | Trailer
A recently retired man embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding, only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director:

Alexander Payne

Writers:

Louis Begley (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 69 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nicholson ... Warren Schmidt
Kathy Bates ... Roberta Hertzel
Hope Davis ... Jeannie Schmidt
Dermot Mulroney ... Randall Hertzel
June Squibb ... Helen Schmidt
Howard Hesseman ... Larry Hertzel
Harry Groener ... John Rusk
Connie Ray ... Vicki Rusk
Len Cariou ... Ray Nichols
Mark Venhuizen Mark Venhuizen ... Duncan Hertzel
Cheryl Hamada Cheryl Hamada ... Saundra
Phil Reeves ... Minister in Denver
Matt Winston ... Gary Nordin - Warren's Replacement
James M. Connor ... Randall's Best Man (as James Micheal Connor)
Jill Anderson Jill Anderson ... Bridesmaid Reading St. Paul
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A single mother and waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.

Director: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves
The Pledge I (2001)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A retiring police detective pledges to catch the killer of a young child.

Director: Sean Penn
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Clarkson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dave Buznik is a businessman who is wrongly sentenced to an anger management program, where he meets an aggressive instructor.

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei
Election (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison, but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young
Citizen Ruth (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Edit

Storyline

Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) has led a safe, predictable life working in the insurance industry in Omaha, Nebraska 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, Colorado. 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The church shown during the wedding rehearsal is in Boulder, Colorado, twenty miles northwest of Denver. The church can be seen on the right from U.S. Highway 36, just as you enter town. See more »

Goofs

The Tony Roma's restaurant where the rehearsal dinner is held, is (was, it's now closed), in Omaha, Nebraska, not Denver where the event was held. See more »

Quotes

Warren Schmidt: Well Ndugu, I'll close now. You probably can't wait to run and cash this check and get yourself something to eat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film title appears above the New Line Cinema Release credit as end credits are done. See more »

Connections

References The Straight Story (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Longer
(1971)
Written by Dan Fogelberg
See more »

User Reviews

Alienated from life
5 November 2006 | by Ford-kpSee all my reviews

It is hard to recommend About Schmidt to anyone, without actually knowing that person. Not only does the story seem unconventionally uneventful to most of modern audiences, but it also moves with an unhurried patience that will let many viewers shift in their seats. It really depends on whether one can develop an interest to the film and its subject matter, which shows a retired man suddenly facing the void and meaninglessness of his existence.

About Schmidt moves slowly, but it moves with grace. The film's success is deeply in debt to Jack Nicholson, subordinating his personality to the character of Warren Schmidt. It must have been difficult for somebody like Nicholson to display the role's required lack of passion without letting Schmidt lose his human touch. Yet, his portrayal is excellent in its understatement, and his numerable supporting actors do not disappoint either. Fans of Nicholson will be assured in their belief, that their favourite is not only one of the best, but also one of the most versatile actors still working today.

Apart from the acting, director Alexander Payne's film is also well crafted. The somewhat saddened mood is only enhanced by documentary-like shots, constantly making us aware that what we witness is really an everyday-tragedy. The script shows intelligence, and although it contains many subtleties, most of them will not go unnoticed with attentive viewers. Even though About Schmidt is billed as a comedy, it really is a drama. Many of the humorous situations are more tragic than funny, and truly hilarious moments are rare occurrences.

I've often wondered whether the title of About Schmidt has been chosen with any clear intent. The German surname Schmidt equals Smith in English and is one of the most common. So about Schmidt could actually mean "About Everybody". Everybody can wake up one day and discover that everything he or she has devoted himself to, amounts to nothing. It's a frequent social phenomenon, that people suddenly wise up that their lives are almost over, without ever having fully lived them. Maybe that's how all the sea cruises and world tours of old pensioners can be accounted for. Like Schmidt, they are all making a desperate effort to catch up on a time that's long done and over with.

The film does not exactly give answers and, like in reality, does not end with any true revelations to escape all bleakness. But there is something it often likes to apply, namely the self explanatory power of irony. Like one time during the film, when Warren Schmidt decides to adopt a six-year old African foster child by mail. A cheque of twenty-two dollars, which he dutifully provides on a monthly basis, assures that little Ndugu can go to school, gets sheltered, fed and clothed. Yet, in one of his letters Warren writes to him: "What difference has my life made to anyone? None that I can think of. None...at all!"

Well, think again, Mr. Schmidt.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 634 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

About Schmidt See more »

Filming Locations:

Nebraska, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$282,367, 15 December 2002

Gross USA:

$65,016,287

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$105,834,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed