About Schmidt (2002) Script

Well, uh, for my part, I would just like to say, Warren...

...that as the new guy taking over for you, I hope I can fill your shoes.

Because from the looks of the people here...

...and what they think about you, they sure seem awfully big.

Well, as most of you know, I just moved here recently from Des Moines...

...with my wife Patty here and, uh, Kimberly, our 14-month old...

...and you all have just made us feel so welcome.

And, uh, Warren, I want you to feel just as welcome...

...to drop by the office to visit anytime you want.

In fact, uh, as we've been discussing the last couple of weeks...

...I might have some questions to ask you about our various products.

Like the new Universal Life policy we're launching next month.

And, uh...

Well, anyway, here's to you, Warren.

Hear, hear.

Warren. To Warren Schmidt.


Hey, Warren.

How do you feel about these young punks taking over our jobs?

Seems like some kind of conspiracy to me.

Now, I've known Warren here...

...probably longer than most of you people have been alive.

Warren and I go way back.

Way back to the horse-and-buggy days at Woodmen.

But that's ancient history. Heh.

Anyway, I know something about retirement.

And what I wanna say to you out loud, Warren...

...so all these young hotshots can hear...

...is that all those gifts over there...

...don't mean a goddamn thing.

And this dinner doesn't mean a goddamn thing.

And the social security and pension don't mean a goddamn thing.

None of these superficialities mean a goddamn thing.

What means something, what really means something, Warren...

...is the knowledge that you devoted your life to something meaningful.

To being productive and working for a fine company.

Hell, one of the top-rated insurance carriers in the nation.

To raising a fine family.

To building a fine home. To being respected by your community.

To having wonderful, lasting friendships.

At the end of his career, if a man can look back and say:

"I did it. I did my job."

Then he can retire in glory...

...and enjoy riches far beyond the monetary kind.

So all of you young people here...

...take a good look at a very rich man.

Thank you, Ray. Thank you.

I love you, buddy.

I'll be right back. Okay.

Good evening.

Vodka gimlet, please. Coming right up.


Aah! Hi, honey.

Yeah, we just got in. We just walked in the door.

Yeah, he is. Just a minute.

Warren, get on the phone. It's Jeannie.

Jeannie? How you doing?

Oh, it went just fine, yeah. Nice event.

Oh, I know, but, uh, don't give it another thought.

You've got bigger fish to fry.

Yeah, I know, but we'll see you out there real soon anyway.


Oh, yeah, the... Did I get the robe? Yes, heh.

That was quite an item. You sure went overboard.

From you and Randall? I see.

Well, thank you both. It's, uh, sure gonna come in handy now.

You betcha.


Yeah. Bye now.

Did you thank Randall?

I did. And what did he say?

I just told Jeannie.

You didn't thank him personally?

No. Why not?

He didn't come to the phone. Why not?

I don't know. He didn't come to the phone.

You should've asked for him. You should make an effort.

I mean, he's gonna be your son-in-law and you hardly know him.

I know him well enough.

I wish you'd try to be more positive.

She's lucky to have him. Yeah.

You know, my father didn't think so much of you at first.


Where to, mister?

Looks like you need a ride.



I thought it'd be fun to have breakfast in here today.

You know, see what it'll be like.



Isn't this fun?

Well, sort of gives us a rough idea.

We're gonna have a lot of good times in here, Warren.


Here's to a whole new chapter.

Well, not if he hadn't tried it, he wouldn't, ha-ha-ha.

You see, my friend's just crazy about you...

...and he'd hate me if you and I got together.

You mean, you're both mad about me?

Then fight over me, and the winner gets the prize.

I'm still sick from the last turkey I won.

Wait! Don't go, sweetie.

But this officer dreams about you.

He dreams about both of you being alone in the tules.

The tules?

Yeah. That's my...

The three-minute hip, thigh and bun...

But if all you feel is pity, or perhaps even guilt...

...rump roast that's sliced.

Just put some in. You should use a fork, but I'm...

Angela Lansbury for Childreach...

...and we need people who want to help.

Throughout the world in many of the poorest countries...

...there is a wonderful organization called Childreach...

...that is making a profound difference in the lives of children just like these.

Forjust $22 a month, just 72 cents a day...

...you can become a Childreach sponsor...

...and not only personally touch the life of a needy boy or girl overseas...

...but also help the child's family and community.

Think of it. Just $22 a month and a little girl like this...

...will never feel the agony of dysentery from dirty water.

A child like this will be able to go to school to learn and grow.

I'm so glad you've watched.

But now that you have, what are you going to do?

No, pity and guilt won't help. The answer is Childreach.

For a needy child, family and community overseas.

Well, I'm glad that you're glad.

Hi. Come on in.


Oh, no, no, you're buttering me up now, ha.

Well, I can't take all the credit for that.

Now, no. I, uh, did use a calculator, heh.

Mm-hm. Well, that's my motto. Alrighty.


Hey! There he is.

What do you say, partner?

Pretty good. Pretty good.

How are you doing? Not too shabby.

Well, I see you're all moved in.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

What brings you by this neck of the woods?

Oh, I was just driving by. I thought I'd pop up...

...and see what kind of trouble you've been getting into.

Heh, oh, you know, keeping busy, keeping busy.

I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any more questions...

...about those preteen mortality risk models that I was working on.

I know they seem pretty straightforward at first, but...

No, no. I think I've got a pretty good handle on things.

You did a super job of handing everything over.

Just super. Smooth sailing all the way.

Because I have been concerned about some of those items...

...that I walked you through slipping through the cracks.

You know, it's kind of been nagging at me.


Heck, a business degree from Drake ought to be worth something.

Yeah. Oh, boy.

If anything bubbles to the surface, I'll be sure to give you a holler.

You can bet on that. Okay.

Ooh. Oh, I gotta get to a meeting out west.

Uh, you wanna take the elevator down with me?

Uh, okay. Sure. Great.

Great to see you.

Looking good.

Thank you. Have you been working out?


How'd it go at the office? Oh, fine.

Good thing I stopped by.

Turns out he needed my help with a couple of loose ends.

That's wonderful.

Dear Ndugu.

My name is Warren R. Schmidt and I am your new foster father.

Say personal information.

All right, ahem.

I live in Omaha, Nebraska.

My older brother, Harry, lives in Roanoke, Virginia with his wife, Estelle.

Harry lost a leg two years ago to diabetes.

I am 66 years old...

...and recently retired as assistant vice president and actuary...

...at Woodmen of the World Insurance Company.

And goddamn it if they didn't replace me with some kid who...

All right, so maybe he's got a little theory under his belt...

...and can plug a few numbers into a computer...

...but I could tell right off that he doesn't know a damn thing...

...about genuine real-world risk assessment.

Or managing a department, for that matter.

Little cocky bastard.

Anyway, 66 must sound pretty old to a young fellow like yourself.

The truth is it sounds pretty old to me too.

Because when I look in the mirror and see the wrinkles around my eyes...

...and the sagging skin on my neck and the hair in my ears...

...and the veins on my ankles, I can't believe it's really me.

When I was a kid, I used to think that maybe I was special...

...that somehow destiny had tapped me to be a great man.

Not like Henry Ford or Walt Disney or somebody like that...

...but somebody, you know, semi-important.

I got a degree in business and statistics...

...and was planning to start my own business someday.

Build it up into a big corporation. Watch it go public, you know?

Maybe make the Fortune 500.

I was gonna be one of those guys you read about.

But somehow, it just didn't work out that way.

You've gotta remember, I had a top-notch job at Woodmen...

...and a family to support.

I couldn't exactly put their security at risk.

Helen, that's my wife.

She wouldn't have allowed it.

But what about my family, you might ask.

What about my wife and daughter?

Don't they give me all the pride and satisfaction I could ever want?

Helen and I have been married 42 years.

Lately, every night, I find myself asking the same question:

"Who is this old woman who lives in my house?"

Why is it that every little thing she does irritates me?

Like the way she gets the keys out of her purse...

...long before we reach the car.

And how she throws our money away on her ridiculous little collections.

And tossing out perfectly good food just because the expiration date has passed.

And her obsession, her obsession with trying new restaurants.

We're in luck.

Seafood buffet. Let's go there Sunday.

The way she cuts me off when I try to speak.

She goes ahead, seats the people who came behind us.

The thing that hap... Normally, I wouldn't mind.

And I hate the way she sits and the way she smells.

For years now, she has insisted that I sit when I urinate.

My promise to lift the seat and wipe the rim...

...and put the seat back down wasn't good enough for her.


But then there's Jeannie.

She's our only. I'll bet she'd like you.

She gets a big kick out of different languages and cultures and so forth.

She used to get by pretty good in German.

She'll always be my little girl.

She lives out in Denver, so we don't get to see her much anymore.

Oh, sure, we stay in touch by phone every couple of weeks...

...and she comes out for the holidays sometimes...

...but not as often as we'd like.

She has a position of some responsibility out there...

...with a high-tech computer outfit, so it's very hard for her to break away.

Recently, uh, she got engaged...

...so I suppose we'll be seeing even less of her now.

The fellow's name is Randall Hertzel.

He's got a sales job of some sort.

Maybe Jeannie is a little past her prime...

...but I still think she could've done a heck of a lot better.

How you guys doing?

I mean, this guy's just not up to snuff, if you ask me.

I mean, not for my little girl.

I'll close now and get this in the mail.

Here I am rambling on and on...

...and you probably wanna hurry on down...

...and cash that check and get yourself something to eat.

So, uh, take it easy, and best of luck with all your endeavors.

Yours very truly, Warren Schmidt.


I'm going to mail a letter.

Do you need anything? No.

Don't dillydally.

And I have, um, been doing some research reading on this.

I actually looked at a couple pieces of video, and it just amazes me.

The liberals and the media continue to look for a dark lining here in a silver cloud.

Have you noticed...?

What can I get for you?

Um, I'll have a Blizzard with vanilla ice cream.

What would you like in it?

Um, I'll have some...

Reese's Pieces and, uh, some, uh, cookie dough.

What size?

Uh, medium. Medium? Okay.



What's the matter? Honey?


Wake up, please. Wake up.

Oh, Helen.

Oh, my God.

Before we go on any further, I wanted to just go over the expenses with you.

We itemize all of our charges, break them down into different categories.

For our professional services, embalming...

...other preparation of the bodies...

...those figures would total up to about $1550.

For the use of our facilities, equipment, staff, visitation, and the funeral service...

We have expenses out at the cemetery. Our charges in total amount of 1500.

And in addition, we also have the casket...

...which will total up to about 2700.

Finally for the use of our automobiles and services, be about $430.

Are there any questions or anything about that?


What if I drive myself? Well, we certainly have...

And I wanna tell you about anger, that anger's okay.

God can handle it if we're angry at him. And I'll tell you why.

Nine years ago...

Yeah. Randall.

You okay, honey?

For none of us liveth to himself.

And no man dieth to himself. For if we live, we live unto the Lord.

And if we die, we die unto the Lord.

We're gonna miss Helen so much.

I know. The greatest woman.

Just the sweetest, warmest, most wonderful woman.

I know, I know. We're praying for you, Warren.

If there's anything you need, you call us, okay?

Okay. Okay?

Okay. Okay, really, now.

Yeah. Yeah. All right.

I can't believe it, Warren. I still can't believe it.

I know, Ray, I know.

She was just...

She was too young.

She was just so...

Yeah, I know, Ray. l... Thank you.

You're a good friend, Ray.

You take care of yourself, Warren. I will.

You too, Ray. Thanks for everything. Yeah.

We'll see you real soon. Okay.

Here, let me get this for you.

Nice of people to bring all this food.

All these cold cuts.

Gonna be a lot of leftovers.

Oh, Dad.

I know, Jeannie.

I know.

She was a very special lady.

I for one am really gonna miss her. I miss her already.

I know we all do.

Let's drink to her.

Here's to Helen.

They broke the mold.

Helen, we love you, we miss you...

...and we always will.

How you doing? You doing okay?

Fine. You sure?


Must be really tough.

I remember when my aunt died.

It was so unreal. It was the 4th of July.

I'll never forget it.

So listen, Warren.

I know now is definitely not the time to talk about it...

...but if before we leave you wanna take a few minutes...

...take your mind off all of this craziness...

...there's something real important I wanna talk to you about.

What's that?

It's an investment opportunity. It's really exciting.

And I wanna get you in on the ground floor with me.

Oh. And it's not a pyramid scheme.

A lot of people think it's a pyramid scheme, heh, but it's not.

It's almost guaranteed you can double your money...

...maybe even triple it in the first year alone.

The thing is, Warren, I'm not gonna be selling waterbeds forever.

I got plans.

We haven't had much chance to talk about it, you and l...

...but I got a pretty good business head on me.

I've been going to seminars lately and listening to a lot of tapes...

Mayonnaise or mustard?

I like both. Okay.

And, uh, don't toast the bread too much. I don't like my bread very toasted.

And I'll have some of those barbeque potato chips.

Not the plain ones. Those are your mother's.

The barbeque ones are mine.

In fact, you and Randall can take those plain ones.

They'll just go to waste here. I won't eat them.

Maybe you can eat them on the plane.


So good to see you.

I sure wish you didn't have to get back so soon.

Can't you take a few days more?

Couldn't you just talk to them at work? I mean, they'd understand.

Heck, who's gonna take care of me?

Here's your sandwich.

Mm, wonderful. Just wonderful.

You know, Dad...

...you're gonna have to get used to taking care of yourself now.

Mm, I know. I know.

You might have to hire a maid.

A maid?

Oh, no. I'll be all right.

I don't need the extra expense.

At least for, uh, a few weeks while you're dealing with this.

Well, that's why I'm asking you to stay and help me out.

Dad, I told you. I wish I could, but I can't.

I've got too much going on.

And even if I could get more time off, I've got the wedding.

That's a full-time job all its own.

Well, now that you mention it, honey...

...I think you should consider postponing it.

Postpone the wedding? We can't do that, it's all set.

I'm just saying you might wanna take this opportunity to rethink things.

That's all.

But everyone's invited and RSVP'd and everything.

They'd understand. I mean, out of respect for your mother.

She would've approved.


Mom wouldn't want us to change anything.

The thing is, Jeannie...

...your mother and I spoke a number of times, very seriously...

...about you and Randall.

And what did she say?

Just that she loved you and she wanted you to be very happy...

...and maybe this thing with Randall...

...well, she just wanted to be sure...

...you weren't gonna have any regrets, that's all.

So you might wanna keep your options open. Hmm?

But she helped us pick the date.

And I was on the phone with her almost every day...

...planning it and ordering things.

I really don't know what you're talking about.

Mom wouldn't want us to change it. All right. All right.

Okay, have it your way. You know best, you and your mother.

Good sandwich.

Dad. Mm?

Why did you get such a cheap casket?


I could tell you got the cheapest casket. Everybody could.

Oh, that is not true. That is not true.

I specifically did not choose, as you say, the cheapest casket.

There was one less expensive, which they showed me, and I refused it.

You mean a pine box?

Well, I don't... I don't remember what it was.

She waited on you hand and foot.

Couldn't you have splurged on her just once?

Hey, hey, hey. Once?

What are you talking about? What about the Winnebago out there?

What do you call that? That's an expensive vehicle.

I didn't wanna get it, but I did.

That was completely your mother's idea.

She told me she had to pay for like half of it.

She said she had to sell some of her stock or something to pay for it.

That was her decision. I was willing to go as far as the Minnie Winnie, but no.

She had to have the Adventurer. She wanted the whole shebang.

What was I to do? Tell her she couldn't?

It was her money.

No, no, no. You can't call me to task on that one.


No, sir.


In here, Randall. Where?

In here. In here!

Oh, hey, there you are.

Thirty-minute warning. You better get packed.

Hey, Randall, did you tell Dad about that book?

That's right, I forgot.

Say, Warren, have you ever read When Bad Things Happen to Good People?

No. Oh, it's really amazing.

It really helped me out when my aunt died.

You should read it. When me and Jeannie get back to Denver, I'll send you my copy.

The workbook too. I did most of the exercises...

...but you can write your answers in next to mine.

Final boarding call for Midwest Express...

...Flight 420 to Denver, Colorado.

All ticketed passengers... So long, Randall.

You'll be in our prayers. And I'll call you about that thing, okay?

Okay. Thank you.

Well, Jeannie...

Take care of yourself, Dad. Hmm.

Oh, that's a good one. That's gonna be a really great shot.

Yeah, very cool.

Yeah, I got the plane in the background too.

Bye, Dad. So long, Jeannie.

See you in a few weeks, okay? Okay.

Bye, Warren, you take care. Okay.

Dear Ndugu.

I hope you're sitting down...

...because I'm afraid I've got some bad news.

Since I last wrote to you, my wife, Helen, your foster mother...

...passed away very suddenly from a blood clot in her brain.

The services were lovely and very well attended.

Jeannie came in from Denver with her friend...

...and folks drove up from as far away as Des Moines and Wichita.

It was a very moving tribute any way you look at it.

I wish you could've been there.

But now that all the excitement is over and the smoke has cleared...

...it's just me and my thoughts knocking around in this big old house.

I believe I mentioned in my previous letter that I was an actuary...

...at Woodmen of the World Insurance Company.

If I'm given a man's age, race, profession...

...place of residence, marital status, and medical history...

...I can calculate with great probability how long that man will live.

In my own case, now that my wife has died...

...there is a 73 percent chance that I will die within nine years...

...provided that I do not remarry.

Here's an opportunity, one on three. A backhand shot, and score!

All I know is...

...I've got to make the best of whatever time I have left.

Life is short, Ndugu.

And I can't afford to waste another minute.

Well, there's nothing like a hot bath when you're happy.

As long as you're with the right person.

I love you so much.

I love you too.

I love being able to say that.

Now, I don't wanna kid you.

Adjusting to life without Helen has been quite a challenge.

But I think you'd be proud of me.

Yep, this house is under new management...

...but you'd never know the difference.

Oh, sure, sometimes I can be a tad forgetful and miss a meal or two...

...but, heh, I guess that's hardly worth mentioning to someone in your situation.

Helen wouldn't want me sitting around, wallowing in self-pity.

No sirree, Bob.

Why, she'd tell me to shape up or ship out.

So I try to get out as much as I can.

You know, try to stay active, stick to my routine.

That's very important in the face of big changes in life.

Oh, sure, um, I'm not quite the cook Helen was.

But I remember a trick or two from my bachelor days.

It's a lot of work keeping a household together...

...and I suppose eventually I'll sell the place and move to a little condo.

You know, less upkeep and so forth.

But for now, I'm getting by just fine.

It occurred to me that in my last letter, I might've misspoken...

...and used some negative language in reference to my late wife.

But you have to understand...

...that I was under a lot of pressure following my retirement.

I'm not going to lie to you, Ndugu.

It's been a rough few weeks.

And I've been pretty...

...you know, broken up from time to time.

I miss her.

I miss my Helen.

I guess I just didn't know how lucky I was...

...to have a wife like Helen until she was gone.

Remember that, young man.

You've got to appreciate what you have while you still have it.

Jesus, Warren. You scared me. What are you doing here?

I thought you might want these back.

Oh, Jesus.

That was so long ago, Warren. It's 25, 30 years. I mean...

Oh, Jesus.

I never thought...

She kept these? I can't believe she kept these.

Stop! Stop!

Stop hitting me!

Let's talk about this!

You were my friend.

It was all a big mistake.

I mean, you went up to Frisco and things started up...

...and we just got out of hand, that's all.

I'm sorry!

You've reached Moon Dog Electronics.

If you know your party's ext...

Shipping and Receiving. This is Jeannie.

Jeannie, it's Dad. How are you?

Uh, hey, I'm totally swamped, Dad. What's up?

Well, I have a big surprise for you. Guess what.

What? I'm on the road.

I'm on my way out to see you.

Right now. I'm just outside Grand Island.

Uh, Dad, what are you talking about? Jeannie...

...I've been thinking about things and how much you mean to me...

...and how little time you and I have spent together these last few years.

And all of a sudden I realized, what the heck am I doing in Omaha...

...when you're out there and I could be with you?

You know, we should be together.

Wait, um, you're coming now?

If I drive straight through, I'll be there in time for supper.

Um, gosh, you know, I don't think so, Dad. This is not a good idea.

Well, sure it is.

Don't tell me you couldn't use extra help with all those wedding arrangements.

I'll help take the burden off.

No, but the thing is, Dad, Roberta and I and Jill...

...we've pretty much got everything under control.

No, no, no. Use the bubble wrap on that one. It's too big.

It's such a nice offer, but let's stick to the plan, okay?

You get here a day or two before the wedding, like we said.

I assume you won't object to me sending any more of those checks.

Jesus, Dad. I do not have time for this, okay?

You call me when you get home.

Okay? Fine. I'll...

Bye, Jeannie. Bye, Dad.

Dear Ndugu.

How are you?

I'm fine.

A week or so ago, I decided to take a little road trip...

...on my way to Jeannie's wedding out in Denver.

Jeannie begged me to come out early and help her with the arrangements...

...but I told her I needed some time to myself.

I've decided to visit some places I haven't been to in a long time.

So much has happened in my life that I can't seem to remember.

Whole sections of my life that are just gone.

So you might say I've been trying to clear a few cobwebs from my memory.

My first stop was none other than Holdrege, Nebraska.

I thought it would be enlightening to visit the house...

...where I was born 67 years ago next April.

We moved away from Holdrege when I was not much older than you...

...and I've often wondered what our old house would be like today.

Funny, I never forgot the address.

12 Locust Avenue.

Yes, sir. 12 Locust Avenue.

Can I help you, sir?

No, thanks. I'm just looking around.

I used to live here.

Here in the store?

Yep. My childhood home was right on this spot.

In fact...

...bedroom would've been right about here.

Living room over here.

And the dining...

Well, heh...

...that was a long time ago.

Before you were born.



Hey, Mom.

Mommy loves you, Warren. Yes, she does.

Happy birthday, Warren!

You're not gonna believe this.

We used to have a tire swing right out front here.

An awful lot had changed since my day...

...but it was still good to be home again.

Very good, indeed.

Next stop, Lawrence, Kansas...

...where I paid a visit to my old alma mater, KU.

I hadn't been there in years and years...

...and now seemed like the perfect time to stop by.

I even managed to hook up with some kids at my old fraternity.

Been there since the pioneer days. Beta Sigma Epsilon.

Hence the company motto:

"As a woodman clears the way." Hmm?

Well, Ndugu, I highly recommend that you pledge a fraternity...

...when you go to college.

After that little walk down memory lane, it was tourist time for yours truly.

I made my way back to Nebraska...

...and stopped in at the Custer County Historical Museum in Broken Bow...

...to see their fine collection of arrowheads.

Later that same day, I happened to meet a real lndian...

...or Native American, as they like to be called nowadays.

We had a nice chat about the history of the area...

...and he really opened my eyes.

Those people got a raw deal.

Just a raw deal.

Next stop, Buffalo Bill Cody's house in North Platte.

What a remarkable man.

You can read about him in the enclosed pamphlet.

I pull the Adventurer over whenever I feel like stretching my legs...

...taking in a local sight or browsing for antiques.

The other day, for example, at an antique store in Cozad...

...I came across a fine collection of rare Hummels.

I guess I never really appreciated how exquisitely crafted they are.

And each one comes with its own certificate of authenticity.

Helen loved Hummels.

Ahoy there!


I said ahoy.

Well, ahoy yourself.

John Rusk, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Warren Schmidt, Omaha.

Say, I hope I'm not disturbing you...

...but I couldn't help noticing you got a new Adventurer.

That's right. Thirty-five footer?

That's right. Ah.

What a beauty, huh? Man, oh, man.

Yeah, well, I'm pretty happy with it.

Permission to step aboard, captain? Heh.

How's that?

Can I take a look inside?

Oh, sure. Help yourself.

Thank you.

Oh, yeah, jeez.

Look at all this room.

These pop-outs really make a difference, don't they? Ha-ha-ha.


Say, you keep a mighty clean galley, mister.

Well, I've only been on the road a week. You're kidding.

This is your maiden voyage? Yeah.

And you're traveling solo? That's right.

Christ, you gotta come over for dinner. We gotta celebrate.

My Vicki's one heck of a cook. I mean, if you're free, of course.

Well, I'll have to check my schedule.

Ahoy there.


Get yourself up here.

I'm Vicki Rusk. Warren Schmidt.

John was so excited to meet you. Mm.

Oh, gosh, you shouldn't have.

Smells delish.

Oh, I hope you like beef stew. Oh, yeah.


Hey, there he is.

How are you? Good, good. Can I take your jacket?

Oh, sure. Yep.

Ha-ha-ha, there we go.

Something burning? Huh?

Oh, no, no, no. I just lit a couple of matches is all.


Shall we adjourn to the living room while Vicki...?

Almost done, aren't you? Oh, just about.

John, Warren brought us beer.

Oh, thank you, Warren.

Here, have a seat. All right.

Right there. You take that one. All right. Okay.

So, uh...

What do you do back in Eau Claire?

Well, my brother and I, we have a shoe store.


Yeah, it's a Famous Footwear, and, uh...

Well, people will always need shoes.

And Vicki here, she's an occupational therapist.

So that's our day job, you might say.

How about yourself?

Oh, I was in the insurance game, but, uh, I'm retired now.

Uh-huh. Mm-hm.

Okay, boys, dinner is served.

This is a couple we met in Kansas when we were in Kansas.

Remember I was telling you about the guy with the wooden leg?

But we loved them. We spent a whole weekend with them out in Kansas.

And this is Roger and Denise and their daughters.

Now, Denise is your oldest.

No. She's the middle one. They live out in Delaware.

And these little cuties are Katie and Sloan.

Ah, a girl named Sloan. I've never heard that one before.

Neither had we. Neither had we, no.

Do you have any pictures of your daughter with you?

Um, no, uh...

Not on me, I don't, no.

Nothing in your wallet?


I might have one of George Washington, though.

Oh, dear.

Or Abraham Lincoln. Who?

You are...

Oh, hey, easy. We're a little low on truth serum here.

Oh, no. Oh, yeah. Oh, no.

If I get another six-pack, you gonna be okay?

Yes. Oh, yeah.

Oh, oh. Ha-ha-ha.

Abraham Lincoln.

Be back in a flash. Okay.

Not bad, huh? I like that.


All right.

Oh, here's the little cart we got them for Christmas. Is that cute?

Oh, that's darling. Those adorable dresses.

And these are their christening dresses.

That's quite a family you got there.

You and John are very lucky. Oh, I know, we really are.

We are. Hmm, yep.


...would you mind if I made an observation?


Well, you put a pretty good face on things...

...considering everything you've been through lately.

And I know I've just met you. Uh-huh.

But I have good instincts about people, and the feeling that I get from you...

...is that despite your good attitude and your positive outlook...

...I think inside you're a sad man.


...it does take quite an adjustment there when you lose a spouse.

Yeah, but it's something more than that.

I see something more than grief and loss in you.

Something deeper.

Like what?

Well, I just met you... Mm-hm.

...but my guess is anger.

Yeah. Yeah, anger and...

I don't know, maybe fear...



...I am kind of lonely.

See, there, I knew it.

Can I tell you something? I'm listening.

I've only known you for an hour or so...

...and yet I feel like you understand me...

...better than my wife, Helen, ever did.

Even after 42 years of marriage.

Forty-two years.

Maybe if I'd met someone like you earlier...

Oh, you sad man.

You sad, sad man.

You sad man.

Yeah. Yeah.


Get off me! Are you insane?

God, what is wrong with you?

I don't know what ideas you've got...

...but you better go right now!

Uh, I'm sorry. No, no. Go!

I didn't know. I'm sorry. I don't care about sorry. Go!

I didn't mean to... Go!

Ahem, can I have my jacket?



Ray, it's Warren.

I know we separated on a bit of a sour note...

...but I just thought I should call and tell you...

...that I've been doing some thinking and some soul-searching and, well...

...I just wanted to tell you that I'm willing to talk about this...

...because of all the things that have...

If you are satisfied with your message, press one.

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To erase and rerecord, press three.

To continue recording where you...

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At the end of your message, press one.


What did you really think of me...

...deep in your heart?

Was I really the man you wanted to be with?

Was I?

Or were you disappointed and too nice to show it?

I forgive you for Ray.

I forgive you. That was a long time ago.

And I know I wasn't always the king of kings.

I let you down.

I'm sorry, Helen.

Can you forgive me?

And so, Ndugu...

...I must say it's been a very rewarding trip.

And this morning, I awoke from my night in the wilderness...

...completely transformed.

I'm like a new man.

For the first time in years, I feel clear.

I know what I want, I know what I've got to do...

...and nothing's going to stop me ever again.

Meanwhile, along with the usual check...

...I'm enclosing a little something extra to spend as you please.

Yours very truly, Warren Schmidt.

Warren. How grand to see you again.

Well, I hope I'm not intruding. Not at all.

I was happy to get your call and learn that you were finally in town.

I'll bet that trip did you a lot of good after all you've been through.

I sent you a card. Did you get my card?

Oh, yes, uh, lovely card. Thank you.

But I wanna say it to you in person. I am so sorry about Helen.

I only met her that once...

...but we talked often on the phone after the engagement.

She was a fine, fine woman.

A fine, fine human being.

Thank you.

So, what can I get you to drink? Bet you could use a cocktail.

Oh, no, I'm fine.

Uh, I'll just wait till the kids get here.

Well, I am having a Manhattan.

Ah, well, what the heck?

Make it two, ha, ha. Okay.

Thank you. Ah.

Mm, that's better.


This last week has been so stressful.

The only way that Helen is lucky, and I do mean the only way...

...is she didn't have to go through this week with Jeannie and me.

The florist, the dress, the relatives, the travel arrangements, the motels...

...the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the gowns.

And do you realize how many people still have not RSVP'd?

Oh, Warren, it simply does not stop.

By the way, we do still need that check for the church.

Did Jeannie mention it to you?

Because we've needed it for some time now.

Actually, it's been a bit of a problem.


Roberta. What?

I can't make this goddamned thing work.

I mean, somebody really screwed it up.

Would you excuse me?

What is your fucking problem?

Don't you think I have enough to deal with?

That's why I offered to come over and help.

You know, I am trying to help. Well, this is no help.

I mean, look at it. What do you expect me to do?

Well, I will fix it. But you have to tell me how you want it.

I'm not a mind reader. Oh, shit. I'll do it.

I'll do it myself. Like I have to do everything else around here.

Just get out. I'm not a mind reader.

I'm not a mind reader! Do you understand English?

Get out!

I'm sorry. Oh.

You met Larry last time?

Uh, just briefly, yeah.

He's like a little boy. I mean, ever since our divorce...

...he thinks the only way he can get my attention is by causing a fuss.

I understand it, I do. I just, uh...

I feel sorry for him.

My first husband was exactly the same way.

He turned out to be a real asshole. Oh, heh.

Now, Randall, he knows how to treat a woman.

Honestly, don't you think he's something special?

Well, um...

...I know Jeannie seems to be very taken with him.

Ha, ha, well, that always helps, doesn't it? Ha-ha-ha.

When I had my hysterectomy...

...that boy did not leave my side for one minute.

Not one minute. People used to raise their eyebrows...

...because I breast-fed him until he was almost 5 and I say:

"Heh, well, you just look at the results."

I raised a sensitive, devoted boy...

...who has turned into a sensitive, devoted man.

And he's also quite easy on the eye.

If I do say so myself.

Don't you agree?

Oh, look who's here.



How's it hanging? Oh, uh...

Fine, fine. Yeah? Good, good.

You're finally here. Yeah.

I'm stoked. Hi, Dad.

Hi, sweetheart. Hi, Mom.

Oh, God. How was your trip? I was a little worried.

Oh, just great. Yeah. Yeah.

But, uh, I did run into a lot of traffic heading into town this afternoon.

Ended up veering off the 25 onto 70. That wasn't any better.

Guess it must've been construction or an accident or something.

Yeah. That's Denver for you.

Won't catch me driving on the interstate.

What you wanna do next time is get off 25 at Speer and take a left.

That'll turn into First which will lead you directly to Gaylord.

Oh, well, that's good to know.

Bring that into the kitchen. Okay.

Uh, Jeannie, I need to talk to you about something.

Oh, sure, Dad, um, can it wait?

It's very important. I need some time alone with you.

Oh, um, definitely. Uh, maybe after dinner.

Say, uh, ahem, Randall, uh...

...how'd that investment situation work out for you?

You never called me.


Don't bring that up. You mean that pyramid scheme?

No, it wasn't.

All I know is I lost 800 bucks.

Well, if you'd stuck with it little longer...

...you'd have seen results.

You bailed out too soon. Change the subject.

You just didn't find enough quality reps of your own.

You screwed the thing up for me too.

You didn't take the time to understand how the power system works.

Principal, ownership, wealth...

As, um, father of the groom, I'd like to welcome our guest.

And... Larry, we know who you are.

You're gonna have plenty of chances to make toasts tomorrow and the next day.

Will you let me finish, please?

Can't we just enjoy our food?

Okay, enjoy your food, but I have something I wanna say.

Anyway, I, uh... I just wanted to acknowledge...

...that we're gathered together around this table as a family...

...for the very first time.

And, uh, on behalf of Saundra and myself...

...I wanted to welcome Warren...

...who has journeyed a very long way to be with us here tonight.

And, Warren, we really, really love Jeannie very, very much.

I also wanna say how proud I am... Larry. Larry.

You're embarrassing yourself. You're embarrassing me.

You're embarrassing Saundra.

No, he's not. Saundra, please.

Anyway, I'm done.

You're interrupting me and I'm already done.

Oh, heh.

Why do you have to spoil a perfectly enjoyable evening, huh?

Why do you always do this? Why do you have to be so negative?

I'm not negative. You're just trying to grab all attention.

"I'm not negative." That's not negative?

I mean, I'm not...

You know, all I was doing was welcoming somebody into the family.

Larry, we've been welcomed by you. Thank you so much.

Now would you please just drink your fucking milk and shut the fuck up?

See you tomorrow. You get rest some rest.

See you, Randall.

See you tomorrow. You will.

Warren. You get a good night's sleep. Larry.

Saundra. Nice to meet you. Very nice to meet you.

Thank you. Night. Good night.

Jeannie. Yeah?

I still wanna talk to you. Oh, yeah, right.

Um, well, can it wait?

Because we got a really big day tomorrow.

No, it can't.

Take your time. I'll get the car started.

Good night, Warren. Good night.

Oh, okay.

What's up?

You're making a big mistake. Don't marry this guy.

Don't do it.

Uh, what are you talking about?

The other night, I had a dream, and it was very real.

Your mother was there and you were there and your Aunt Estelle.

And there was a... Well, it wasn't really a spaceship.

It was more like a blimp or an orb of some kind.

And then a bunch of weird creatures came out...

...and started trying to take you away, and you wanna know what?

They all looked like Randall. Do you understand?

I was jumping up, trying to save you.

Okay, Dad, Dad, it's okay. And then suddenly I...

You're just wigging out a little and Mom is not here to calm you down so...

No, this isn't like that. I am begging you, don't marry Randall.

This guy is not up to snuff. He's not in your league.

I can't let this happen. I will not allow it.

I mean, look at these people!

All of a sudden, you're taking an interest in what I do?

You have an opinion about my life now?

Okay, you listen to me.

I am getting married the day after tomorrow...

...and you are gonna come to my wedding.

And you are going to sit there and enjoy it and support me.

Or else you can just turn right around right now and go back to Omaha.

You come right back here!

I'm talking to you, young lady!

Good morning, Mr. Sleepyhe...

Warren, what is the matter? Oh, I'm fine.

I'm just a little stiff.

Uh, my neck, huh?

I'm okay.

Did you fall out of bed?

Let me help you. No, no, no. I'm fine.

I think I'm better off on a hard surface.

Hmm, I don't know.

It still seems pretty weird for this to be happening today of all days.

I'm sorry, Jeannie.

I'm sure I'll rally in a couple hours.

The Advil's kicking in pretty good.

It's just that we've been stressed out the last two weeks.

While you were out on your little trip...

...we've been kind of barely holding this thing together.

And so now for you to just crap out on us...

I think it's the bed.

No way.

That's an Aquarest Z-9000. It's top-of-the-line.

It's definitely not the bed. I don't know.

Think I need something firmer.

All right, fine. Let's just deal with this, okay?

Um, Dad, where's that receipt that I gave you?

Receipt? Yeah, for the programs...

...at the printers you were gonna pick up.

Oh, uh, it's over there. Where? Where?

On the chair in my jacket pocket.

Fine. All right.

Um, well, I guess, Randall, you're gonna have to pick them up.

What? I gotta get Brian and Dave at the airport...

...swing by the tux shop... I can't do it.

I can't do everything, Randall! I cannot do everything!

I know.

Jeannie. Get off of me!


I'll do it.

Thanks for everything, Dad.

Jeannie. Fuck you.

By golly, huh.

Anybody hungry? I could eat a horse.

How about some chicken noodle soup? Wonderful.

Anything for me in the bedpan?


Jeannie told us all about your little panic attack last night.

And I don't blame you. It's a perfectly natural reaction.

In the beginning, I had my own reservations.

As the veteran of two failed marriages...

...I have learned a lot about what works and does not work between two people.

And I can tell you, these kids are in very good shape.

They have a very healthy relationship...

...spiritually, emotionally and physically.

And, well...

...you already know how famously they get along as friends...

...but did you know that their sex life is positively white hot?

The main reason both my marriages failed was sexual.

I mean, I am an extremely sexual person.

I can't help it. Just how I'm wired.

I mean, even when I was a little girl.

I had my first orgasm when I was 6, in ballet class.

Anyway, the point is...

...that I have always been very easily aroused and very orgasmic.

I mean, Jeannie and I have a lot in common that way.

Clifford and Larry, I mean, they were nice guys...

...but they just could not keep up with me.

Anyway, I don't wanna betray Jeannie's confidence...

...but let me just assure you...

...that whatever problems those two kids may run into along the way...

...they will always be able to count on what happens between the sheets...

...to keep them together.

More soup?

Uh, no. I think I'm fine now.

How are we doing?

Just dandy.

Couple more Advil ought to do it.

Oh, no. You look like you need something stronger. Give me a second.


I had these left over from my hysterectomy.

They've expired, but I think it's okay.

Well, what is it? Percodan.

I guarantee you, within half an hour, you'll be on cloud nine.

Okey-smokes. So, um, following the procession...

...I'm gonna have the bride and the groom accompany me.

And I'd like the best man and the maiden of honor to follow closely, all right?

But don't forget to leave the bride and groom, uh, space.

They need room to maneuver in here.

And the father of the bride, Mr. Schmidt...

...will have a seat in the front row right there.

All right?

Mr. Schmidt?

You wanna go ahead and take your seat in the front row right there, please?

If I could be permitted a personal note...

I learned about love from my parents, two extraordinary people...

...who were married 62 years.

And they're here, right here in this room tonight.

I can feel them.

Hello, Mom. Hi, Pop.

I miss you and I love you.

And I know every time I look at Randall and Jeannie...

...I just think...

Well, Randall's hands and mine are a lot alike...

...and Jeannie's hands are...

Well, you seemed to have come around pretty good there, Warren.

That stuff you gave me, wow.

You gotta write the name of that down for me.

It really does the trick.

I know what'll really get you out of the woods.

Soon as we get home, I'm gonna fire up the hot tub...

...and you're gonna take a long soak before bed.

You'll sleep like a baby.

Tomorrow you'll be good as new.

How does it feel?

This is incredible.

I had no idea.

It's indescribable. Didn't I tell you?

Didn't I tell you?

Mind if I join you?

Agh, that's better.

Oh, what a night.

I was very moved.

I mean, I've been so stressed these last few weeks...

...that I kind of lost sight of the fact that my little boy is getting married.

So is your little girl.

You think about it from the day they're born and now it's here.

It's a miracle.

Just think, after tomorrow, we'll all be one big family.

And I'm going to insist that you consider this your second home.

I'll set a place for you at the table for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.

Oh, and we don't give traditional gifts at Christmas.

We make them. We're a very creative family.

It can be a painting, or a poem, or a song.

I mean, whatever inspires you.

Oh, and it goes without saying you'll come to our timeshare up in Breckinridge.

It'll be just you and me while the kids are out on the slopes.

Here we are.

A divorcée and a widower.

Sounds like a perfect match to me.

What's the matter?

Oh, I have to go to bed now. Just like that?

Come on, we were having such a nice talk.

Ah, I'm all tuckered out. Uh...

Thank you, Roberta. Good night.

Longer than there've been fishes In the ocean Higher than any bird ever flew Longer than there've been stars Up in the heavens I've been in love with you Stronger than any mountain cathedral Truer than any tree ever grew Deeper than any forest primeval I'll be in love with you

Let us pray.

Dear heavenly father, our hearts are filled with great happiness...

...for the union of Randall and Jeannie...

"Love is patient. Love is kind.

Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way."

And I shall love you every day of my life.

And when I say every day, I mean every day.

And when I say day, I mean all 24 hours.

All 1440 minutes.

All 86,400 seconds.

Well, a man shall leave his mother And a woman leave her home They shall travel on

Do you, Randall Mead Hertzel, take Jean Bordwine Schmidt...

...as your lawful wedded wife?

I do.

And do you, Jean Bordwine Schmidt, take Randall Mead Hertzel...

...to be your lawful wedded husband?

I do.


I now pronounce you husband and wife.

I could tell there was something different in his voice and...

Remember, Randy? You called me up.

And he says, "Dennis, uh...

...I met this girl last night and, yeah...

...this might sound a little weird coming from me, but, uh, heh...

Uh, but this is one chick...

...I might actually wanna see again."

Then he told me a bunch of other stuff...

...which I'm not really at liberty to go into right now, heh.

Hey, ahem.

But what was in his voice two years ago was confirmed here today.

I mean...

I mean, you guys are just a great couple.

You know, and, uh...

...you both really helped me through that thing a couple months ago...

...and I'll never forget it.

I love you guys.

I love you guys, ahem.

Randall and Jeannie forever!

Hoist them, let's go.

Oh, look, they want a little smooch.

Come on, let's see a little smooch here. Come on, a little smooch.

Oh, come on, these people paid good money.

Ha-ha-ha! What? What?

Ah, oh. Oh, hey, there's children here. Hey.

Ahem, all right, now I'd like to turn things over to the...

Do you want us all to leave or...?

I'd like to turn things over to the proud father of the bride...

...Mr. Warren Schmidt.

Ah, I didn't, ahem, get much sleep last night...

...so forgive me if I'm a little foggy.

But, you know...

...today is a special day.

We're here to mark a crossroads in the lives of two people.

A crossroads where they come together and now walk along a new road.

It's not the same road that they were on before.

It's a new road.

A road that, um...

As many of you know, I lost my wife recently...

...and Jeannie lost her mother.

Helen and I were married 42 years.

She died very suddenly.

I know we all wish she could be with us today and l...

I think it would be appropriate to acknowledge just how pleased she was...

...that Jeannie had found someone to share her life with...

...a companion...

...a partner.

I recall the day when Jeannie first told us she had been proposed to.

We hadn't yet met this Randall fellow...

...so we were understandably a little suspicious.

Later, she brought him home for Christmas...

...so we could get a look at him.

I remember, uh, there was a big snowstorm...

...and Randall here helped me shovel off the front walk.

He pitched right in. Yeah.

But that brings me to what I really wanna say.

What I wanna say, what I really wanna say is, uh...

...thank you.

To you, Randall...

...for taking such good care of my daughter...

...especially recently with our loss.

Ever since I arrived here a couple of days ago...

...I have so enjoyed getting to know Jeannie's new family.

To Roberta, thank you for your generosity...

...for opening your home.

Your talent in the kitchen is...

Larry, your wonderful eloquence.

Saundra, your skill with handicrafts is truly remarkable.

That item that you showed me was so very artistic.

Duncan, I haven't gotten to know you very well...

...but I could tell from our brief conversations...

...that you are a very thoughtful young man.

Everybody else...

...terrific people.


And in conclusion, I just wanna say on this special day...

...this very special day...

...that I am very...


Hear, hear!

Yeah. Hear, hear!

If it were easy as fishin' You could be a musician If you could make sounds loud or mellow Get a second-hand guitar Chances are you'll go far If you get in with the right bunch of fellows People see you havin' fun Just a-lyin' in the sun Tell them that you like it this way It's the work that we avoid And we're all self-employed We love to work at nothing all day

Dear Ndugu.

You'll be glad to know that Jeannie's wedding came off without a hitch.

Right now she and Randall are on their way to sunny Orlando...

...on my nickel, of course.

As for me, I'm headed back to Omaha.

I'm driving straight through this time and I've made only one stop:

The impressive new arch over the interstate at Kearney, Nebraska.

An arch that commemorates the courage and determination of the pioneers...

...who crossed the state on their way west.

I took an lndian bride myself.

You've really got to see it to believe it.

And it kind of got me thinking.

Looking at all that history...

...and reflecting on the achievements of people long ago...

...kind of put things into perspective.

My trip to Denver, for instance, is so insignificant...

...compared to the journeys that others have taken...

...the bravery that they've shown...

...the hardships they've endured.

I know we're all pretty small in the big scheme of things.

And I suppose the most you can hope for is to make some kind of difference.

But what kind of difference have I made?

What in the world is better because of me?

When I was out in Denver, I tried to do the right thing...

...tried to convince Jeannie she was making a big mistake...

...but I failed.

Now she's married to that nincompoop and there's nothing I can do about it.

I am weak and I am a failure.

There's just no getting around it.

Relatively soon, I will die.

Maybe in 20 years, maybe tomorrow.

It doesn't matter.

Once I am dead and everyone who knew me dies too...

...it will be as though I never even existed.

What difference has my life made to anyone?

None that I can think of.

None at all.

Hope things are fine with you.

Yours truly, Warren Schmidt.

Dear Mr. Warren Schmidt.

My name is Sister Nadine Gautier...

...of the order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

I work in a small village near the town of Mbeya in Tanzania.

One of the children I care for is little Ndugu Umbo, the boy you sponsor.

Ndugu is a very intelligent boy and very loving.

He is an orphan.

Recently, he needed medical attention for an infection of the eye...

...but he's better now.

He loves to eat melon and he loves to paint.

Ndugu and I want you to know that he receives all of your letters.

He hopes that you are happy in your life and healthy.

He thinks of you every day and he wants very much your happiness.

Ndugu is only 6 years old and cannot read or write...

...but he has made for you a painting.

He hopes that you will like his painting.