‘About Schmidt’ (Roberta): “Don’t lie to me”

'About Schmidt' by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor

From: Movie

Type: Dramedy

Character: Roberta Hertzel, a large grand woman

Gender: Female

Age Range: 40's | 50's | 60's

Summary: Warren Schmidt has arrived at several of life's crossroads all at the same time. To begin with, he is retiring from a lifetime of service as an actuary for Woodmen of the World Insurance Company, and he feels utterly adrift. Furthermore, his only daughter Jeannie is about to marry a boob. And his wife Helen dies suddenly after 42 years of marriage.

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ROBERTA: Don’t lie to me. 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. After all, as the veteran of two failed marriages, I have learned a lot about what works and does not work between two people. And knowing what I know, and having seen the kids together much more than you have, I can tell you they are in very good shape. They have a very healthy relationship — spiritually, emotionally and physically. I’m not sure how much Jeannie has really told you about her relationship with Randall — I understand she was closer with her mother. But Jeannie and I have grown very close. She confides in me. And, well, you already know how famously they get along as friends. But what you may not know is that their intimate life is positively white hot.

The principal reason that both my marriages failed was physical. I am an extremely sexual person. I can’t help it — that’s just how I’m wired. Even when I was a little girl. Most people find this hard to believe, but I had my first org— when I was six. In ballet class.

Anyway, suffice it to say I’ve always been very easily aroused, and Jeannie and I have a lot in common that way. The point is that neither Cliff nor Larry could keep up with me. As much as I tried to understand it and as much as I valued the companionship, it became an insurmountable problem. Now I don’t want to betray Jeannie’s confidence, but I can assure you that she and Randall are not going to run into those kinds of difficulties. They may have other problems along the way, but they will always have their sexual life to fall back on. More soup?

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