"About Schmidt" Is Released

About Schmidt is a 2002 American film directed by Alexander Payne and starring Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt and Hope Davis as his daughter Jeannie.

It is loosely based on the 1996 novel of the same title by Louis Begley. Many of the scenes were filmed on location, especially in Omaha, Nebraska and Denver, Colorado. According to the special features on the DVD, a number of non-professional local residents appeared in the film, portraying their real-life professions. The actual Woodmen of the World headquarters building in Omaha was utilized in the film.

The main narrative of the film follows Schmidt as he goes on a road trip in order to attend the wedding of his only daughter to a man and into a family he does not particularly like.

Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Warren Schmidt, a retired, insurance executive from Omaha at loose ends after the death of his wife, may be the most astonishing dramatic transformation of his 44-year screen career. Plodding in a weary, stiff-legged shuffle, this great actor reins in his bad-boy mannerisms to convey a deep, sorrowful awareness of human complexity. As the movie follows the attempts of this staid 66-year-old everyman to regain his equilibrium, it sustains an exquisite balance between a satire of Middle American life and the wrenching pathos of Warren's situation, as he tries to form a bond with his resentful grown-up daughter (Hope Davis). Much of the story takes place on the road from Nebraska to her wedding in Colorado. Kathy Bates has a flashy comic turn as the groom's garrulous, overbearing mother. — Stephen Holden, The New York Times