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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.

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 »

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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
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las confesiones del Sr. Schmidt See more »

Filming Locations:

Nebraska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$282,367, 15 December 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$65,016,287

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$105,834,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema,Avery Pix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When asked about the film, Louis Begley said he enjoyed it, and thought it kept the spirit of the novel alive, even though the film changed almost everything from the novel. The one thing he said he missed, was the removal of Schmidt's Hispanic girlfriend, a key character in the novel that was dropped in the film version. See more »

Goofs

When Warren is in Colorado, there are Nebraska license plates on cars parked in driveways. See more »

Quotes

Warren Schmidt: You can't marry him. I mean... Look at these people!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Best! Movies! Ever!: Weddings (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

You Sexy Thing
(1974)
Written by Errol Brown
Performed by Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life Is A Joke
28 June 2009 | by alexkolokotronisSee all my reviews

Of course we would hope that is not the case but watching a movie like this certainly puts the idea of life into question. This is a funny movie but looking back its probably not quite the kind of jokes you appreciate laughing at.

In the lead role as Warren Schmidt is none other then Jack Nicholson, with an already astute résumé, only further strengthens his long career with his subtle and charming performance. The charm never wears off with the audience as Schmidt's morals and interest for the most part stay in place in his heart and mind. Unfortunately in the tale of Schmidt in the film not only does his charm wear off but he is seen as a liability by those who he thought of as his loved ones. His life takes this crash when he retires from his career and an insurance agent. Soon after he realizes he may have wasted his entire life away. The downward spiral of his life and his sense of purpose hangs on the thread of a boy he has never even met.

As subtle as Nicholson's performance is, so is the writing. It is quietly very witty which almost inconspicuously gives off a whole lot of cynicism. Along with Alexander Payne writing the screenplay he directed the film as well. The movie is certainly not all style and why should it be when that could possibly be the only thing that could really hurt this film. The film is about humanity in a raw and complex way, sometimes the best method of showing this is through simplicity to the point where you are almost certain there is something else that lies behind the curtain of it all.

There is no doubt I would recommend this film but don't expect a pure comedy. Instead try and take a fresh and real look at the entire movie and the events that take place. Depending on who you are, you may find certain points of this movie to be either sorrowful and dejected or slightly uplifting and optimistic. Just don't make a heartless joke of it, because none of us want to think of our life as that; a joke.


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