I was not
looking forward to this movie. Warren
Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) is a 66-year old man, just retired, who has lived
a life of quiet complacency, who loses his wife suddenly.
This forces him to deal with everything sheís done to make his
life placid; cooking, cleaning, and planning, and the results are not
positive. So he sets out in
his Winnebago to his daughterís wedding to someone he views as a jerk.
This turns into a Holden Caulfield-type journey of personal
discovery in the seventh decade of his life. Knowing that the running time
was two hours and six minutes, my thought was that there was no way this
wonít be long and tedious.
Well, was that
ever wrong! This is an
enchanting, poignant comedy, with an emphasis on the poignancy that held
my interest and never dragged, even though Nicholson is on the screen for
almost every minute. In fact,
probably only Nicholson could pull this off and hold your interest
throughout. This is a
Nicholson youíve never seen, an Oscar-level performance.
There is one
thing, however, that deserves criticism, the scenes where we see Nicholson
going to the bathroom. Iím sorry, but I donít ever want to watch anyone going to
the bathroom. These scenes
are unnecessary and detract from the overall quality of the movie.
I donít like
reviewing good movies because thereís nothing much you can say about
them without spoiling them for the reader.
Suffice it to say that, whether you find it sad or funny, or both,
this is a rewarding, entertaining film.
January 14, 2003