Jack Nicholson plays retiring insurance actuary Warren Schmidt in Alexander Payne's About Schmidt. Schmidt has settled into a dormant life. He has an unfulfilling marriage to Helen (June Squibb), and conspires to spend as much time away from her as possible. Schmidt's daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) is engaged to Randall Hertzel (Dermot Mulroney), a man Schmidt believes is entirely unworthy of his daughter. When Helen unexpectedly dies, Warren is adrift until he discovers old love letters sent to his wife from his best friend. This inspires Warren to make a valiant effort to stop his daughter's wedding. His plans start to go awry when he meets Randall's extroverted mother, Roberta (Kathy Bates). About Schmidt was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where many were surprised that Nicholson did not take home the Best Actor award.~Perry Seibert
Here comes another film from Alexander Payne, who once again takes a mean approach towards the treatment of his characters. It's almost as if he despises them and he doesn't hold back with Warren Schmidt who we get to see as this man about to retiring and his pathetic life. Schmidt has retired from the job he's had for years, and now he doesn't even know if there was a meaning to his life. Even though this film is depressing, it is good. Don't miss it.