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At Theaters: 1/3/2003 On Video: 6/3/2003
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 4 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 399925
Studio: New Line Cinema
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Warren Schmidt has arrived at several of life's crossroads all at the same time. To begin with, he is retiring from a lifetime of service as an actuary for Woodmen of the World Insurance Company, and he feels utterly adrift. Furthermore, his only daughter Jeannie is about to marry a boob. And his wife Helen dies suddenly after 42 years of marriage.
DETAILED STORYLINE
.
Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - It's a very slow story of a man who has just retired and finds himself wondering about his worth in life. The story shows him traveling around meeting various people. Not much happens and it's not especially interesting. I would say most average moviegoers will find it to be too slow and boring.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Jack Nicholson THE PLEDGE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, MARS ATTACKS
Hope Davis HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, MUMFORD, ARLINGTON ROAD
Dermot Mulroney WHERE THE MONEY IS, GOODBYE LOVER
Len Cariou THIRTEEN DAYS, EXECUTIVE DECISION
Howard Hesseman TV's - HEAD OF THE CLASS
Kathy Bates DRAGONFLY, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, THE WATERBOY
Director: Alexander Payne ELECTION
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
About The Production (Continued)
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 6 GD's, 3 F-words. Just a few others.
SEX/NUDITY: Sexual talk that's somewhat graphic and some female nudity.
VIOLENCE: None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some social drinking.
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Quite a few mild moments of humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Very Good

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Excellent "And by the time the incomparable Bates jumps beside Nicholson into her hot tub, we realize that this brave and hilarious scene is destined to win awards for one of the best films of the year.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Good "The catharsis at the end hits the right note, giving the viewer a sense of closure without betraying the character or cheapening what has gone before. On balance, I recommend the movie both for Nicholson's performance and for the opportunity to spend some time with the kind of man that we often meet in real life, but rarely see on screen.''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Very Good "Typical of earlier Payne and Taylor collaborations CITIZEN RUTH (1996) and ELECTION (1999), the writing is sharp and often blithely cynical, though not above using a shooting star to prompt a lump in the throat. The tone, however, is at times dangerously uncertain.''

Newsday  Full Review
Very Good "About Schmidt allows Nicholson yet another opportunity to astonish us with the things he knows about acting in front of a camera. At 66, Nicholson still seems at times like the youngest, friskiest smart aleck wandering the movie pantheon. But, as with jazz musicians who have survived the excesses and perils of youth, it's what Nicholson withholds rather than what he discloses that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats."

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 157 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
5
About 50/50
80%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
8
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
4
About 50/50
75%
30+Adults (M)
54
High
91%
30+Adults (F)
86
Fairly High
83%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Sorry, this limited release movie isn't opening at a theater that allows us to collect opinions so no moviegoer opinions will be available.

Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
Boooring is what I predict most average moviegoers will think of this movie. What little does happen, happens at a snails pace and isn't very interesting. I go to a movie to be entertained and this movie is not entertaining. The only ones likely to enjoy "About Schmidt" are those who's taste in movies generally runs close to that of movie critics since they enjoyed it very much.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) has arrived at several of life's crossroads all at the same time. To begin with, he is retiring from a lifetime of service as an actuary for Woodmen of the World Insurance Company, and he feels utterly adrift. Furthermore, his only daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) is about to marry a boob. And his wife Helen (June Squibb) dies suddenly after 42 years of marriage.

With no job, no wife, and no family, Warren is desperate to find something meaningful in his thoroughly unimpressive life. He sets out on journey of self-discovery, exploring his roots across Nebraska in the 35-foot motor home in which he had planned to drive around the country with his late wife. His ultimate destination is Denver, where he hopes to bridge the gulf between himself and his somewhat estranged daughter by arriving early to help with her wedding preparations. Unfortunately, he hates the groom-to-be Randall (Dermot Mulroney), a profoundly mediocre, underachieving waterbed salesman. To make matters worse, Warren is appalled by the free-spirited nature and boorish behavior of his soon-to-be in-laws (Kathy Bates and Howard Hesseman). Warren grows swiftly convinced that his new purpose in life is to stop his daughter's marriage.

Throughout his journey, Warren details his adventures and shares his observations with an unexpected new friend and confessor -- Ndugu Umbo, a six-year-old Tanzanian orphan whom he sponsors for $22 a month through an organization that advertises on TV. From these long letters filled with a lifetime of things unsaid, Warren begins -- perhaps for the first time -- to glimpse himself and the life he has lived.

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