Once again, Jack Nicholson is receiving rave reviews, many critics calling for an Oscar nomination. He may very well get one for "About Schmidt."
Nicholson stars as Warren Schmidt, a recently retired, 66-year old husband and father who isn't at all too happy with his life. Things take a turn for the worse when his wife suddenly dies, leaving him alone in his house. Having nothing else to do, he heads out in his new RV, angling towards Denver with plans to stop his daughter from marrying a waterbed salesman. However, upon arriving he realizes that he no longer has any say in his daughter's affairs, and she isn't interested in respecting his wishes.
"About Schmidt" is essentially a slow-paced comedy, a film designed with plain visuals that are intended to invoke laughs. The quirky style is similar to Wes Anderson movies ("Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums"), though not as strange and not quite as good. Some of the funniest scenes involve no dialogue; in fact, they may not even involve movement.
The result is a funny, well-designed film that suffers from only one flaw: slowness. Jack Nicholson is hilarious, the script is good, the acting is good, but it just drags in part. The lemur pace is comical at first, but after two hours, it begins to get old. Fifteen minutes could have been edited out of the film without losing much at all.
Other than its pace, "About Schmidt" is a generally lighthearted, original comedy that is just a little different from other movies. Patience and some intellect is needed to find this movie funny, and that is why a few people left the theater halfway through; not everyone can handle stuff like this.
"About Schmidt" is not for everyone, but anyone who enjoys good acting and quirky comedies should find it entertaining.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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