ABOUT  SCHMIDT   - A  Narada   Film Review

  DERMOT MULRONEY as   
  the nincompoop fiance &   
  HOPE DAVIS as   
  Jeannie Schmidt    
   
   JACK NICHOLSON as    
   Warren Schmidt
   
   KATHY BATES as    
   Roberta Hertzel
About Schmidt -  2002   - Alexander Payne-Director   &   Harry Gittes-Producer

  Was it the Golden Globes or the Screen Actors Guild Awards?    Somewhere, somehow, both the film ABOUT SCHMIDT and Nicholson were given 'artistic' recognition.   After that, it was simple "Emperor's New Clothing Syndrome" all the way.   Pardon me if I'm unable to perpetuate this little game; let 'Emperors' Alexander Payne and Jack Nicholson stand naked before us.  Neither experience nor talent could cover up this bald-faced fraud.
       Our protagonist, Warren Schmidt (Nicholson) loses his job.   He loses his wife.   He loses his daughter to her nincompoop fiance.   He loses direction in life.   He cries.   He regains direction and purpose, and rushes out - only to fail once again.   ABOUT SCHMIDT is not so much a tribute to Hollywood's ability to make a movie about anything, as it is a monument to their ability to make one about absolutely nothing.   ABOUT SCHMIDT is remarkable only in that it is singularly without any redeeming quality.   Can Nicholson act?    Yes, but we knew that - we didn't need to pay out good money for a ticket just to reassure ourselves of that fact - the only rational, worthwhile expenditure that afternoon was the purchase of popcorn - one must have something to do, after all, to keep from falling asleep.
       Schmidt's (Nicholson's) crowning achievement here seems to be urinating on the floor in defiance of his dead wife's overbearing feminist dominance.  The absolute nadir of Hollywood's staggering underachievement over the last 80 years is Jack Nicholson sitting, humbled, on the toilet to urinate because his wife forbade standing.  No, really.  I'm not making any of this up.   A depressing experience?   ABOUT SCHMIDT comes without explicit warning to depressive personalities.  It should; there is a real and present danger this film will cause suicides in the aisles.
       Watch out Jack, we cinema-goers are likely to mistake you for your overweight, over-aged, over-the-hill slob of a character.  Keep this one off your resume at all cost, pal.
      LEAST Enduring Line or Phrase:  "...or were you disappointed and too nice to show it."

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