Sunday, January 17, 2010

About Schmidt

Last night I watched About Schmidt. I have always been put off by the picture of Jack Nicholson on the movie poster and figured the movie must be about some crazy guy. Because my expectations were so low might explain how pleasantly surprised I was when I watched it.

The movie is about a man who has just retired as an insurance executive. The opening scene shows Nicholson staring at the clock in his empty office -- waiting for the minute hand to get to exactly 5:00.

From there we see his retirement party and how he tries to deal with retirement. He is bored. He has nothing to do. He is annoyed by his his wife of 42 years and is upset she pushed him into buying a 35 foot Winnebago motor home.

They are preparing for their only child's upcoming wedding when his wife suddenly dies. Thus, Nicholson's character is left to deal with life on his own and a lot of guilt about his wife and daughter.

He finally gets into the monstrous motor home and begins to drive.

He gets to Denver for his daughter's wedding, though he tries to talk her out of marrying the water bed salesman. Nicholson's character fights with himself - and his daughter - about the situation and finally gives in.

He tries to put on a good face and tries to get along with the groom's family. The mother of the groom is played by Kathy Bates. She does an incredible job in this film and was nominated along with Nicholson for best acting.

Bates' role as the eclectic and somewhat off balanced middle aged woman is refreshing, humorous and real.

Her willingness to shed her clothes and step into a hot tub with Nicholson is beyond memorable. I really liked her character a lot and think she helped turn this film from very good to superb.

And let's face it - it doesn't get much more real than seeing Kathy Bates in the nude. We are all a lot more like her than what we typically see on the big screen -- and that was good to see.

This movie does a wonderful job of exploring the range of feelings we have as we move from middle age to later life. If you have not seen this film, see it. If you have seen it, see it again.

It is truly an excellent film.

Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

Now that's one we have not seen yet. I think I'l put in on my list of 'must buy dvds'. Thanks for mentioning it.

The Blue Ridge Gal
(Hope the great snow melt of 2010 has started)

willow said...

Dear Ndugu...

Russell said...

Yes... the Ndugu character is quite important in this film. But I didn't want this little review to get too long.

But, yes, his sponsorship of the child is quite central to the overall movie.

Susan said...

I came here from alink on Jo's blog.
You have enticed me to watch this film that I havent heard of before. I don't watch much TV so I dont see the trailers. I also enjoy Kathy Bates, so I look forward to it.
I enjoyed your post of the snow drifts also. I havent been to Iowa, only to the Canadian prairies, and then only in summer. It must be quite a sight to see them laden with snow. Lovely photos.
Thanks for sharing.

Hilary said...

It's now on my to-see list. Thanks. :)

Jo said...

This made me chuckle. I loved Kathy Bates in this movie, and I thought exactly as you did when I saw her ... "And let's face it - it doesn't get much more real than seeing Kathy Bates in the nude. We are all a lot more like her than what we typically see on the big screen -- and that was good to see."


Anonymous said...

Great movie. It was hard for me to get into it, but once I did, I found it very thought provoking...
Another great one is The Bucket List... Have a great week! The Bach

Small City Scenes said...

I hadn't even heard of this film. Of course I don't see too many movies or TV but I might like this.

There seem to be several films about fathers getting in tough with their children and their feelings. Or so I read. MB