About Schmidt

Movie or Infomercial?

Award winning? How? Why did Jack Nicholson ever accept this part? Or Kathy Bates? 5 Golden Globe nominations? Oscars for Nicholson and Bates?

Stock up on antidepressents before renting this video. And watch out for the trailer.

The Plot (as much as there is one)

Schmidt (Nicholson) retires from a job he hated, gets bored with retirement until his wife keels over unexpectedly, and Schmidt gets even more bored after he buries her. He doesn't shave, lets the dishes pile up, watches TV.

By this time, we're getting bored waiting for a plot that never happens. But wait. A Sally Struthers adopt-a-third-world-kid-commercial gets Schmidt's attention.

For $22 a month Schmidt adopts 6 year-old Ndugu Umbo who lives at a Belgian mission in Africa. Included with his check is a lengthy letter about how meaningless his (Schmidt's) life has been.

What's really strange is why Schmidt seems to think a 6 year-old who probably can't read and certainly doesn't understand English or a 67 year-old man's life cares about it. But Schmidt's letters are the mechanism for narrating the next couple of months traveling in his Winnebago, whining about his meaningless life and annoying strangers.

The ending of all this boredom? Ndugu draws a picture of himself and the imagined Schmidt accompanied by a letter from the Sister telling Schmidt how much his money and letters mean to the boy. Nicholson is overwhelmed with emotion.

We are overwhelmed with relief that this dog is over.

But wait. There's more. There's a pitch for how adopting a third world orphan can add meaning to your life.

If you can discover any value or meaning to this movie, please comment. The sarcasm may have been too subtle for me.

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