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"ABOUT SCHMIDT"
(2002) (Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Moderate Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Heavy Heavy Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Following several life changing developments, a widowed retiree tries to find meaning in his life.
PLOT:
Warren Schmidt (JACK NICHOLSON) is a 66-year-old former insurance salesman who's come to realize that retirement isn't all it's cut out to be. Now at home with his wife, Helen (JUNE SQUIBB), in Omaha, he tries to find some purpose in his life and eventually decides to financially support Ndugu Umbo, a young boy in Tanzania with whom he exchanges letters.

Then one day he comes home to find Helen dead and his life changes forever. After making all of the related arrangements, he then comes to the realization that he needs to make the best of his remaining time. It's not until he discovers that Helen and his best friend and former coworker Ray (LEN CARIOU), were more than just friends that he decides to set out across the country in the RV he and Helen had earlier purchased.

After hitting various spots and eventually forgiving Helen, he sets off for Denver where his adult daughter Jeannie (HOPE DAVIS) lives and is preparing to marry Randall Hertzel (DERMOT MULRONEY). He's a waterbed salesman and Warren thinks Jeannie can do much better than him, a point that further strains their already tenuous relationship.

Upon arriving there, he meets Randall's divorced parents, Roberta (KATHY BATES) and Larry (HOWARD HESSEMAN), and isn't overly pleased with the extended family into which his daughter is planning to marry. While still corresponding with Ndugu, Warren still tries to persuade Jeannie to change her mind. Yet, with the big day approaching, Warren must deal with the inevitable and eventually realize that his life has not been without purpose.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or director Alexander Payne ("Election"), they just might, but otherwise this one probably won't appeal to any but the oldest of teenagers.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some language and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JACK NICHOLSON plays a 66-year-old retiree whose predictable life is turned upside down when he retires and his wife then dies. He then sets out to find meaning in his life, but does attempt to convince his daughter to call off her wedding.
  • JUNE SQUIBB plays his wife who dies not long after his retirement. We later learn that she had an affair with Ray.
  • HOPE DAVIS plays their adult daughter who's trying to plan her wedding to Randall but must contend with her mother's death and her father's insistence that she postpone or cancel the wedding. She briefly uses strong profanity.
  • DERMOT MULRONEY plays Jeannie's waterbed salesman fiancÚ who seems to truly love her.
  • KATHY BATES plays Randall's talkative mother who uses strong profanity, proudly talks of her strong sexual drive and disrobes before getting into a hot tub with a surprised Warren.
  • HOWARD HESSEMAN plays her ex-husband who's still around and with whom she constantly argues.
  • LEN CARIOU plays Warren's old friend and former co-worker who's drunk in one scene and is later discovered to have had an affair with Helen.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 4 "f" words, along with other expletives and colorful phrases. Some sexually related dialogue is present, while a middle-aged woman disrobes before entering a hot tub with a man and briefly comes on to him. Brief nonsexual male (rear) and female (breasts, rear) nudity is present.

    Tense family material involves the death of a spouse and a strained father/daughter relationship. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, some drink in a number of scenes (with one being tipsy and another acting drugged after taking some prescription pharmaceuticals), while some comical moments deal with urination.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have wine at Warren's retirement party where Ray appears a bit drunk.
  • Warren orders a vodka gimlet at a bar.
  • Randall, Jeannie and Warren drink wine in a toast to Helen.
  • Warren may have a drink.
  • People have wine on a TV program.
  • Warren brings a six-pack of beer over to a couple's trailer when they invite him for dinner. We then see that they've had some and the husband heads off to buy more of what he calls truth serum.
  • We see a bottle of wine next to Warren.
  • Roberta offers Warren a cocktail, but he declines the offer. When she says she's going to have a Manhattan, he then says he'll have one and we then see them with the drinks.
  • People have wine with dinner at Roberta's place.
  • A lit sign in Randall's old room shows beer and states that it's "Miller Time."
  • Roberta gives Warren some of her old and expired Percodan (leftover from her hysterectomy) when he says that a few more Advil will help his stiff neck. She says that in half an hour he'll be on cloud nine. We then see the wedding rehearsal where Warren appears quite drugged.
  • People drink at a wedding rehearsal dinner.
  • People have champagne at a wedding reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • As we hear Warren's voice over narration about Helen making him sit down to pee, we see him doing just that on the toilet and see the side of his bare butt.
  • We hear Warren urinating at he stands at a toilet. He then races both of his hand and then apparently pees on the floor (he even turns around full circle) but we only see him from the chest up.
  • After Warren finds himself laid up in bed with Roberta carrying for him, she asks if there's anything in his bedpan for her. He says yes, but we don't see anything.
  • We hear Warren urinating at a urinal.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Warren states in voice over narration that most everything his wife does irritates him. He also comments on Randall not being good enough for Jeannie and tries several times to have her postpone or rethink her pending marriage to him.
  • Warren discovers that his wife and best friend had an affair long ago.
  • After feeling that he and a married woman have made an emotional connection (after just an hour of knowing each other), Warren suddenly kisses her (which upsets her and causes her to demand that he leave - which he does).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Warren returns home to find Helen lying dead on the floor.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What is your f*cking problem?" "Shut the f*ck up," "Drink your f*cking milk," "F*ck you," "Young punks," "Cocky bastard," "Jeez," "Screwed it up," "I'm stoked," "Wigging out," "Crap out," "Chick" (woman) and "Nincompoop."
  • We see a man with a tattoo on his arm.
  • We hear Warren urinating at he stands at a toilet. He then races both of his hand and then apparently pees on the floor (he even turns around full circle) but we only see him from the chest up.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "f" words, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 crap, 1 damn, 1 hell, 6 uses of "G-damn," 4 of "Jesus," and 1 use each of "Christ," "God," "Holy Christ" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As we hear Warren's voice over narration about Helen making him sit down to pee, we see him doing just that on the toilet and see the side of his bare butt.
  • After feeling that he and a married woman have made an emotional connection (after just an hour of knowing each other), Warren suddenly kisses her (which upsets her and causes her to demand that he leave - which he does).
  • Some modern artwork on Roberta's walls shows bare breasts.
  • As Roberta hand-feeds Warren soup while he's laid up in bed, she tells him that Randall and Jeannie have a strong relationship in many ways, including physically. She then asks if he knows that "Their sex life is positively white hot." She then says that the reason her marriages failed was sexual, and that she's a very sexual person. She then adds, "I had my first orgasm when I was six" and that she's easily aroused and very orgasmic. She then adds that she and Jeannie have a lot in common that way, and that her husbands just couldn't keep up with her. She finally states that whatever problems the kids might encounter along the way, "They will always be able to count on what happens between the sheets to keep them together." She says all of that in a matter of fact way, much to his uncomfortable shock.
  • Roberta disrobes before entering a hot-tub at night with Warren (who's in a bathing suit). We briefly see her bare breasts and then see a shot from further away that shows her entire nude body from the side as she enters the tub. We then occasionally and only briefly see part of her bare breasts just below the bubbling water's surface. This makes him uncomfortable, particularly when she touches his leg and says that they seem like a perfect match. He hurriedly gets out and leaves. We then see a brief shot of his bare butt as he's taking off his wet suit in his trailer.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Warren returns home to find Helen lying dead on the floor. We then see a montage of him dealing with the grief and funeral plans, as well as the funeral itself at the cemetery (where Jeannie also grieves). They then try to cope with that loss in various scenes.
  • Warren's insistence that Jeannie postpone or rethink her pending marriage to Randall puts a strain on their relationship. At one point, she sarcastically states that he's now finally taking an interest in her life.
  • Warren discovers that his wife and best friend had an affair long ago.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Warren's statement of not realizing how lucky he was to have his wife until she was gone.
  • Warren's statement of appreciating what you have while you still have it.
  • Warren believing that his life hasn't made any difference in the world, but then eventually realizing that it has.
  • Parents who don't approve of their child's choice in marital partners.
  • The death of a spouse and parent.
  • Planning weddings.
  • Dealing with retirement.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Warren throws old letters at Ray and then proceeds to hit at him (flailing at him), but causes no injury.



  • Reviewed November 13, 2002 / Posted December 20, 2002

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