Not your typical Jack movie in any way shape or form. From the trailer this movie looked very good. Remember kids packaging can be deceiving, About Schmidt is a good example. The wrapper and trimmings may look all neat and shiny - but inside it could be a real stinker.About Schmidt is the story of man starting what he believes is the last chapter in his life. How, Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) deals with life after retirement, becoming a widow, learning of his wife's infidelities with his best friend and depression. Schmidt feels he has made no impact or difference on anything surrounding his life. It also showcases his relationship or lack of with his daughter Jeannie, portrayed by Hope Davis. The first part of the story drags on and on, it's not until the RV trip that you really get into the meat of the story. Schmidt sets off on a soul searching/self finding cross country trip in an RV to attend his daughter's wedding. Upon his arrival we meet Randall, Roberta and Larry Hertzel portrayed by a follically challenged Dermot Mulroney, hippie style Kathy Bates and a gum flapping Howard Hesseman. They make up the majority of the dysfunctional family that Jeannie is marrying into.
The story is mainly told through voice overs ala Schmidt's letters to his adopted son from Tanzania, Ngundu (phonetically that's NEW-GUN-DOO) through the adopt a child program. Ahh Sally Struthers must be proud. I wonder how many people will sponsor a child because of this movie...
This movie is all about Jack, Just Jack! everyone else is just window dressing. It's more of a character study than anything else, I would have preferred more dinner table scenes and dialogue and less voice overs.
Even though I'm not jumping for joy over this movie there are some things that did tickle my funny bone. Mulroney's Randall and his balding mullet hair style was hysterical. The attention to detail in Roberta's (Bates) home was phenomenal. She is very much a free spirit which they show by having various nude art pieces placed everywhere. One scene in particular which made me chuckle was the dinner scene. Right behind Schmidt there was a painting of a female nude from the waist down. Every time they showed Schmidt that's all I saw, your eyes were drawn to the upper left corner. It's what I like to call the coochie shot. Also in the dinner scene, there was a box of milk bones on the table. I never did figure out who exactly was eating them, but I'm pretty sure Roberta (Bates) didn't have any dogs.Although this flick did make me laugh, it's simply not my cup of tea when it comes to the cinema. I did not need to see Kathy Bates floppy boppy breasts, nor did I need to see Jack drop trou. Jack, the NYPD Blue bootie call was not necessary. If it ain't pretty and you're old, Please just keep it covered up.