About Schmidt

December 20th, 2002


more trailers About Schmidt

Still of Kathy Bates in About SchmidtStill of Jack Nicholson in About SchmidtDermot Mulroney and Lara Flynn Boyle at event of About SchmidtStill of Jack Nicholson, Dermot Mulroney and Hope Davis in About SchmidtStill of Hope Davis in About SchmidtStill of Alexander Payne in About Schmidt

A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7.2/10 (66,593 voted)

Critic's Score: 85/100

Director: Alexander Payne

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney

Warren Schmidt has led a safe, predictable life working in the insurance industry in Omaha, Nebr. for many years, yet now faces retirement. At the same time he is forced to take a hard look at his wife, his life and his relationship with his estranged daughter. An often hilarious series of events follow as Schmidt embarks on an unpredictable RV journey to attend his daughter's wedding in Denver.

Writers: Louis Begley, Alexander Payne

Jack Nicholson - Warren Schmidt
Kathy Bates - Roberta Hertzel
Hope Davis - Jeannie Schmidt
Dermot Mulroney - Randall Hertzel
June Squibb - Helen Schmidt
Howard Hesseman - Larry Hertzel
Harry Groener - John Rusk
Connie Ray - Vicki Rusk
Len Cariou - Ray Nichols
Mark Venhuizen - Duncan Hertzel
Cheryl Hamada - Saundra
Phil Reeves - Minister in Denver
Matt Winston - Gary Nordin - Warren's Replacement
James M. Connor - Randall's Best Man (as James Micheal Connor)
Jill Anderson - Bridesmaid Reading St. Paul

Taglines: Schmidt Happens


Official Website: New Line Cinema | Official site [France] |

Release Date: 20 December 2002

Filming Locations: 5402 Izard Street, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $282,367 (USA) (15 December 2002) (6 Screens)

Gross: $65,010,106 (USA) (26 May 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The production crew created a lifetime Endowed Scholarship for the real-life Ndugu, Abdallah Mtulu, through the real Childreach organization.

Errors in geography: When Warren is in Colorado, there are Nebraska license plates on cars parked in driveways.

Warren Schmidt: You can't marry him. I mean... Look at these people!

User Review

Life's quirks


I love Nicolson and I thought his work in this film was as good as any I have seen him do in any of his previous films. My accolades must begin with the writers for creating such a beautiful novel and script-a perfect canvas for the many fine actors in this film upon which they wove their considerable magic. There were no killings, no car chases, no violence of any kind-I'm surprised that Hollywood distributed it.

Such a slice of life-American life with it's many warts-warts that the Americans probably don't even recognize: Winnebagos like moving palaces, freeway monuments to genocide, business that consumes it's workers only to dump them unceremoniously, too much of everything that amounts to emptiness, etc., etc. The novel by Begley, upon which the film was based, illustrated this consumer emptiness brilliantly by the inclusion of the bookends to the film, the sponsorship of the Tanzanian child by Schmidt. The child's material emptiness was contrasted with Schmidt's emotional emptiness in a way America does not recognize much less watch on the screen.

The last part of the movie dealing with the marriage of Schmidt's daughter to a man who came from a diametrically opposite "new age" family was an unstated acknowledgment by his daughter that she wanted nothing of her father's values-she wanted a complete break and she was going to marry the break.

A fascinating, complex movie and I'm sorry I didn't see it much earlier.