**** Official "ABOUT SCHMIDT" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "About Schmidt" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of "About Schmidt" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Anyone catch this yet? Great movie, go see it.
     
  3. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

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    Ryan, care to tell us why it's a "great movie"?
     
  4. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Sure, go read my review in the official review thread, I did so yesterday. [​IMG]
     
  5. TonyRyan

    TonyRyan Extra

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    I suppose I was the only one disappointed by this flick. Big time disappointment.

    The 'hey look at the freaks in this country and then feel sorry for them' genre is over. And besides Jack, this just felt like a tired rehash of every other flick like this.

    Also, Like American Beauty, it seemed to be obsessed with the details of someone's life it doesn't bother to ask us to care for.

    I guess I was wondering if anyone else thought it was shallow. I guess with talent like Payne behind the camera it felt like it could of been better.

    Am I alone?
     
  6. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    I also saw it today and was pretty disapointed.

    Likes: Nicholson was very good and was surprisingly "at home" in the Midwestern setting.

    There's a stretch in the middle where Nicholson takes a "road trip" and goes around the Midwest. While not particularly well-developed or complete, I thought this section should have been more of the movie and more how Schmidt discovers some "answers" to life.

    Dislikes: I felt as if I'd seen the basic core of this movie (father doesn't like guy daughter is marrying) countless times before and this film really didn't seem to bring anything new to the table. The only character that was very well-developed was Nicholson's. All of the other characters seemed rather one-dimensional or stereotypes, if played well by a talented cast.

    Overall, I didn't think it was necessarily a bad movie, but I just felt it could have been more original and gone some different ways.
     
  7. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    It takes the "father doesn't like daughter's husband" and doesn't do anything with it, unlike pretty much all other movies where they come to agreement and the father eventually accepts the son. Schmidt doesn't accept the son here, and isn't happy about the daughter's choice, he feels like his life is a failure because of this. That's a helluva lot different than any other "Father of the Bride" flick I've ever seen. It's almost nihilistic the way the film approaches its view on life, that even though at the end of it we should feel satisfied and happy after doing everything right.

    I didn't think of American Beauty for one second while watching it or even afterward. Don't see a lot in common after thinking about. In that movie Kevin Spacey takes life by the balls by chasing some tail and in the end it has some corny "after life" perspective on life. Here Jack Nicholson aimlessly wanders America looking for meaning and finds none. Caring about Schmidt? Well I feel bad for Schmidt after his wife dies and his life loses all purpose and he has to spill his guts out to a child in Africa. Not sure why someone wouldn't care about Schmidt the way the film portrays him. He seems like a nice guy no?

    That's too bad people aren't liking it. I suspect its core audience will be aging baby boomer's and older with a sense of humor. Seeing it in a crowd of folks like that who laugh at the humor probably adds something to it as well. Like seeing jackass with a bunch of high schoolers. Oh well, It's doing well at Rotten Tomatoes with 84% fresh and 91% in the cream of the crop.
     
  8. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

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    Well, it is after all "About Schmidt". [​IMG]
    Having said all that, I do wish some of the extra characters were a little more fleshed out. I think that would have added some more humour to the story as I felt some of it was almost stock in nature.
     
  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I enjoyed About Schmidt.
    "unlike pretty much all other movies where they come to agreement and the father eventually accepts the son. Schmidt doesn't accept the son here, and isn't happy about the daughter's choice"

    Right, isnt that how real life is.

    As someone said earlier,Im half his age and was able to identify with the character.The last scene of the film was especially touching and powerful.
     
  10. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Yeah that last scene is great.
     
  11. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Jack Nickolson is one of the best actors we've ever had. And, he elevates what could have been a relatively mundane movie with his skills. To me, it almost reminded me of a character like we saw in 5 Easy Pieces, only old, worn out, spent,and now, with his retirement, feeling completely useless. I cringed several times during the film at seeing Nickolson drawn into his shell. Whether interacting with others or not, there was all too often the sense that a wall had risen between him and others - especially his daughter. Ironically, I grew to like his son-in-law to be and, again due to the fine acting all around, felt the pain of Jack's character at the ongoing rejection by his daughter.

    Those that mention the ending are right because it gives him a new meaning and definition beyond being the father of his daughter.
     
  12. Richard_D_Ramirez

    Richard_D_Ramirez Second Unit

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  13. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    In my view, Jack Nicholson's more worthy performance is still in The Pledge. Here, one can still see Nicholson's antics from his real life persona, which detracts from the film's character. As I said in the review thread, some of the comic sequences were unnecessary.

    When you start finally getting to know the character Warren Schmidt, the real life Jack Nicholson is suddenly inserted to add a misplaced humor into the film.

    ~Edwin
     
  14. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    I can't really say I agree with you Edwin. Nicholson is very toned down here. He still has some slight gestures, but this is in no way the larger then life character Nicolson has been playing over and over again for the past 20 years (with the exception of The Pledge). Warren Schmidt seems to get smaller smaller as get to know him better; his marriage may have been worthless, his daughter won't take his advice, and the company he worked under for decades now completely disregards all of the work he's done. This was most definitely not your typical Jack persona, and I think it was played wonderfully by one of the best actors the 60s/70s ever produced.
     
  15. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Well, I guess one of my problems with the film is its attempt to humanize or soften Warren's character when everything else points to that he is a jerk and a very selfish person. For me, the character was just totally uneven when it shouldn't be.

    ~Edwin
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Edwin,
    I saw very little of Jack's persona in this performance. Also, the judgement of Warren's character is really up to our own individual interpretation.





    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Edwin,
    Now, I don't know what you mean?????? First, you say the film try's to soften Warren's character and that he was uneven as a character. However, your above quote mentions there is no doubt as to how the character should be interpreted. Plus, I still don't get your connection between the "Jack" persona and the Warren character.

    Furthermore, like any story or film, when a character is first introduced what he appears to be at that chapter in time might not be an accurate picture of that person. The real character traits of any role might not be revealed until much later as you get more facts about that person and see how he reacts to different people and situations. Furthermore, some of us might feel sorry for Warren as a lonely man while others will see him as you stated a jerk and selfish person. Perhaps, both interpretations are correct, since Warren might be like most of us, a multi-layered character. IMO, people are not just black and white when it comes to character traits or the life they lived, but instead have a lot of gray within themselves and their circumstances. In reality, I think we're all uneven to a certain degree with some people more than others.




    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    RE Robert and Mike’s, comments, one of the reasons I consider this a bravura performance by Nicholson is that we are forced to view Schmidt in how we view this very believable persona. Jack does not tell us how to feel about his character, but rather presents him as a whole person—it is for us to look into the mirror and decide how we feel about him.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    By George, I think he's got it![​IMG] Just show me an honest portrayal of a character then allow me to determine how I should feel about that person.
    Crawdaddy
     

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