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About Schmidt (2002 – R)

February 24, 2009

Originally posted on October 3, 2003

Ok, I decided to review a movie today that I didn’t really like, About Schmidt.


A retired insurance man, played by Jack Nicholson, reassesses his life now that his career is over. The story is driven by his letters to Ndugu Umbo, his ‘adopted’ (think Sally Struthers, or in this case Angela Lansbury and something along the lines of Feed the Children) son in Africa. During these narratives Nicholson shines, and the movie is actually interesting. The remainder of the film… seemingly five hours of it, is beyond dull. Admittedly, this film will likely be more enjoyed by a retired man than anyone else, although a Nicholson fan should see it too. Nothing real unique or new about the plot, but the letters to Ndugu are a nice touch.

Story = 10


All I need to say is Jack Nicholson = 20. Add to his fine performance another seasoned veteran of acting, Kathy Bates, and you are certainly insured a high score in this department. Note to anyone who will watch this film: unless you want nightmares or a shattered mind, avert your eyes when Nicholson is on the hot tub!!! No one wants to see Kathy Bates nude. I love the woman, but yikes!

Cast = 20


I can’t recall a single thing about the score. Sometimes that might be considered a good thing, but in this case a good soundtrack was needed to help move this movie along and keep it more interesting.

Soundtrack/Score = 2

Quote/Catch Phrase

I am going to fudge the lines on this one a bit. There really isn’t a catch phrase per se, but saying Ndugu is fun. Saying Ndugu Umbo is even more fun. Using the name Ndugu for harddrive volume names and bowlers on Dreamcast bowling games takes it to the next level. Long live Ndugu Umbo!

Quote/Catch Phrase = 16


If you are a retired male, you will likely find some common ground in this film and might enjoy it, and Nicholson fans won’t be disappointed with his performance. I can’t in good heart recommend the movie to anyone else, however Ndugu gives the film some karma.

Rewatchability = 14

Total Score = 62

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