Jack Nicholson plays retiring insurance actuary Warren Schmidt in Alexander Payne's About Schmidt. Schmidt has settled into a dormant life. He has an unfulfilling marriage to Helen (June Squibb), and conspires to spend as much time away from her as possible. Schmidt's daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) is engaged to Randall Hertzel (Dermot Mulroney), a man Schmidt believes is entirely unworthy of his daughter. When Helen unexpectedly dies, Warren is adrift until he discovers old love letters sent to his wife from his best friend. This inspires Warren to make a valiant effort to stop his daughter's wedding. His plans start to go awry when he meets Randall's extroverted mother, Roberta (Kathy Bates). About Schmidt was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where many were surprised that Nicholson did not take home the Best Actor award. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
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I liked this movie better than I thought I would. Jack Nicholson, as Schmidt, gives and excellent performance in a difficult role. This isn't an "easy" movie. The theme is rather gloomy. Yet, it is interesting to watch his development as he copes with retirement, the death of his wife and the marriage of his daughter to a young man who is definitely not the suitor he would have chosen. This is quite a journey for the retired actuary.
If you're a Jack Nicholson fan, you will enjoy this movie. It's both a comedy and a drama. About any age could enjoy it, but boomers would probably really like it. It shows the trials and good times of both parents and grown children
I tried to watch this dark depressing tale about an unsatisfied man entering retirement. I really tried. After 30 minutes of this depressing, gloomy, utterly entertaining film I had to turn it off. Maybe it gets better, but my wife and I just could not take any more of this. I need something with a bit more entertainment value. Sorrow and misery does not do it for me.