About Schmidt

I have just one New Year’s resolution this year. [I should have a list of about 40 things to improve my life but it’s just so depressing to realise in February that not only have you not carried out a single item on that list, you don’t even know where the list is in all the clutter.] So. One resolution: do one thing each day to make someone happy. It might be a good turn or a compliment; it could be for someone in the family, online or even for me, no matter, I’d like to go to bed each night with the thought that I’ve achieved something. Does that sound a bit Pollyanna-ish? It’s not meant to.

Anway, I’m starting early. Today’s good turn is to warn anyone landing on this site that they should not watch About Schmidt. Don’t buy it, don’t rent it – if you turn on the television and it’s there on the schedule, quick! hit the remote. Put the tv off and read a book. Ring a friend and have a chat. Just don’t watch this film. Why?

I wasted 93 minutes of my life watching this unrelenting, misery-laden excuse for a film tonight. Fifteen minutes in and I was casting glances at the off button. Thirty minutes in and I was wondering if we had a full bottle of paracetomol in the house. Forty-five minutes in and I’d almost lost the will to live. But why did I keep watching? Having seen The Pledge, I was lulled into a false sense of believing that Jack Nicholson can make more than one good film since One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975. Hah! People say he’s a fine actor. Maybe. I thought the lovely Kathy Bates would bring an injection of humour. Well she might have if she’d been given more than what, 20 lines? Am I the wrong age group? Is it aimed at a younger market for whom retirement is something your grandparents do? Can retirees identify with the characters? I don’t know. And I hated it so much I’m not keen on finding out.

Tomorrow’s good turn will be to take this video back to the store, get a refund and donate it the nearest branch of The Samaritans.

4 Responses to “About Schmidt”

  1. SER
    December 30th, 2003 02:34

    I rather liked The Shining. The Witches of Eastwick is an over literalization of a really good book. He was good — if over the top — in A Few Good Men.

    It’s odd; I always thought that Cuckoo’s Nest was the beginning of the obvious phase in Nicholson’s career, when he’d stopped doing anything new or interesting.

    And so on,

  2. Mindy
    December 30th, 2003 06:45

    At the risk of losing any respect you may have had for me or my tastes…this movie was very quietly hilarious to those familiar with the Midwestern mindset. There were time I almost peed myself or had my hands over my eyes in horror, waiting for the repressed disasters to unfold. As soon as it was over, I thought to myself, that will seem like crap to those who haven’t lived there!

  3. sue
    December 31st, 2003 16:06

    You…you…didn’t like ‘As Good As It Gets ‘?


  4. Daisy
    December 31st, 2003 17:13

    I’m afraid to say that I haven’t seen any of those films. I dislike him that much. But I do like Helen Hunt so maybe I’ll try As Good As It Gets this holiday.

    Oh Mindy, I could never disrespect someone because of their choice in films! I can see how your experience of the film would be completely different to mine. Maybe it’s a similar thing with Very Annie Mary, the critics loved it but the few people I know who have seen it absolutely loathed the film and can’t understand why I love to sit there and squirm as I recognise character after character.

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