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"Schmidt Happens"
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About Schmidt, is the story of a man embarking on a new chapter of his life. He is retiring from his old job, he and his wife bought a new RV, and his daughter is getting married. This is not the story of a man fishing, and offering sage wisdom. It's the story of a man trying to find his way, as his life starts falling apart. Being without a job, Schmidt gets into watching TV, and after seeing a commercial decides to sponsor a child. The child is a Tanzanian boy named Ndugu. For Schmidt’s donation, he is given a picture and a letter about Ndugu and encouraged by the agency to write back to him. What starts out as a kind and informative letter to the boy, turns into a long, angry rant by Schmidt. He can't understand why his replacement hasn't any questions for him, and how things are done. This leads Schmidt, to the sober conclusion that his job was in a sense, meaningless it could be done by anyone.

Schmidt leaves the house the next day to run a few errands and comes back to find his wife is dead. The death of Schmidt's wife sends him into a great depression. Schmidt begins to let himself and his house go. He eats everything in the house, even dry taco shells.

Schmidt decides to hit the road and write Ndugu all about it. Schmidt goes to his daughter's wedding; whom he believes is marring a nincompoop. Schmidt tries to tell his daughter that her intended is not adequate, but she won't listen to him. Indeed, the family his daughter is marrying into is odd, for they give homemade Christmas gifts and sit in hot tubs naked.

After the wedding, Schmidt goes home feeling insignificant. He looks at his mail and sees that he has a letter from Ndugu, and finds out that because of him, he was able to have an operation and is going to school.

| 2002 | 2 hr 5 min | 7.1/10 | 85/100
Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Alexander Payne
Produced By
Michael Besman and Harry Gittes

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