About Schmidt

December 20, 2002 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

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

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


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

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


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

Gross: $65,010,106
(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