JT Film Review

9 – About Schmidt (2002)

About Schmidt REVIEW

5/5 stars

Director – Alexandar Payne

Cast – Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney


Jack Nicholson said of this movie (when presented withaboutschmidt the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama) that he thought that this movie was a comedy, not a drama. I personally don’t think either describes it well. It can’t even be called a black comedy. I think the term that best describes it is “quirky drama”.

Jack Nicholson (who plays the main character, Schmidt) has, of course, been lauded for his “un-Jack” performance, so I’ll try not to dwell on him. I’ll just say he’s very good, and leave it at that.

The camera angles are very interesting throughout, perfectly portraying the mood and emotion needed. The pacing is also very good, with the editing being also great. Seriously, the whole movie was that great.

I should mention the other member of the cast as well. Hope Davis is wonderful as Schmidt’s daughter, and Dermont Mulroney is hilarious as Randall, Hope Davis’ Fiancee. No one can make a mullet look as sleezy as he can, absolutely no one.


I guess the reason I like this movie so much is its mixture of tragedy and comedy. The character of Schmidt is extremely tragic; at a couple points we feel sad for him, glad for him, even embarrassed by him. He is fully rounded, as is the film. His actions all make sense when they happen, and we believe them. Yet somehow the movie seems fresh; I’ve certainly never seeen one quite like it.


It’s a great movie; I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t like it. A personal favorite, and definitely recommended.



“About Schmidt” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



June 14, 2009 - Posted by | 5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Drama, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,


  1. Totally agree, great film. I do wonder how I’d feel watching this film when I’m at retirement age – which is a long time off at the moment! But Payne is one of the best directors working in Hollywood today. Good Review!

    Comment by CMrok93 | March 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for reading! That;s a good point, I wonder if our perspective on it would change at all.
      I think I’d disagree that he is one of the best directors working in Hollywood today though, but this film was certainly excellent.

      Comment by jamesturpin | March 6, 2011 | Reply

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