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, Writer and 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 was dubious when my 65 year old father picked this DVD up from the shelf at Blockbuster. "Great choice dad!", secretly wondering why I let him pick 2 films out of the 3 in the special offer they had going. You see, my father has a penchant for Woody Allen and anybody who has a rather dry sense of humour, this includes Nicholson.
We sat down tonight, and the first thing that hit me was the way that the film was shot. It is shot using rather blue and green hues, so the film is rather subdued. Secondly, the music stands out. Instead of using a typical 'boohoo' orchestra, the film uses beautiful wandering piano and marimba sounds.
The characters, I could easily relate to. Helen, the faithful wife who is excited about getting to spend a new chapter of her life with her husband. The husband, who obeys his wife but secretly resents it. A sudden change which causes a rethink in everything he has done up until that point.
At first, this appeared to be a comedy, but it was soon revealed to be a beautifully poignant film. Throughout, it questions mortality, what you can achieve in life, and how to cope with loss, or change. I don't think I have ever cried as much in 2 hours as I did during this film, and yet at the same time laughed so hard that my sides were splitting.
I would thoroughly recommend anybody to watch this film. It will stay with you for a long time.
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