About Schmidt Review

  • 3.5/5
About Schmidt

About Schmidt, as the title suggests, is about a man named Warren Schmidt.

In ways, Schmidt is the equivalent of the colour beige - there's absolutely nothing noteworthy about him. He is more than happy to simply live his life as it passes him by.

We join Schmidt on his retirement day which now leaves him with nothing to do at home. He is a man with no purpose or meaning. He feels alienated from his wife who he no longer recognises and has grown to loathe.

In what might be the single most noteworthy event of Schmidt's life to that point - his wife collapses dead. This invigorates Schmidt enough to get on his new Winnebago and meet his daughter who is to be married.

In ways she is the polar opposite of Schmidt and possesses a certain joie de vivre. The same can be said about her in laws - her mother in law in particular. An understated hilarity naturally ensues when the human embodiment of beige is forced into a rainbow coloured environment.

While About Schmidt could have easily turned out to be a film about a man on a road trip that changes his life and personality all together, it is far more conservative in its approach. Schmidt is unlikely to skydive or go on safaris out of some sudden desire to live life to its fullest.

However, he does learn to live. Albeit in a quiet sedate manner. In what was once a man defined by his job and others around him, we now find a man. A man of no note whatsover - quite comfortable in his own skin - but an individual nonetheless - not a creation of his surroundings.

Featuring Jack Nicholson in what is probably his only age appropriate role to date, About Schmidt is writer-director Alexander Payne at his quietly humourous and poignant best.