Let the critical film world tell it, 1998’s Rushmore not only kicked off the mainstream appeal of director Wes Anderson (and made Jason Schwartzman a name), but also gave Bill Murray’s acting career a second wind. The touching story of a lying-ass man-child (child-man?) who falls in love with an elementary school teacher no doubt sang to those who felt oppressed by “the man” and had the ingenuity (or the balls) to attempt to fire back, but this love story ultimately turns the movie into a pile of hipster trash.
Sure, Max Fischer can’t be blamed for getting hot for teacher; many-a red-blooded American male has had some kind of late-night fantasy about that fire faculty member that you couldn’t wait to get detention for… hell, there are numerous stories of teacher reciprocating that affection—straight to jail. Never do you see these boys befriending an old-ass millionaire who is trying to smash said teacher, then doing battle with said old-ass millionaire. Hell, you’d think the old-ass millionaire would be like “listen, son, you’re going down a ridiculous path. You have your high school years to mess with high school girls. You want this teacher to get arrested? What can you even DO for this woman?!” ESPECIALLY WHEN SAID OLD-ASS MILLIONAIRE IS MARRIED… WITH CHILDREN!
Nah, we end up getting some ridiculous pissing contest that the man-child (child-man?) could never win. And for what? To show that smart-ass boys literally can’t do shit until they turn into old-ass millionaires? Oh, it’s cute that Herman sees so much of himself in Max, and Max is practically a poster-child for "never give up" throughout the film. But seriously, for all of the indie rock montages and witty retorts Rushmore throws at you, the basis for the love triangle in the plot can hardly be taken seriously.
Wow, I got through this without mentioning the practically color-less world Wes Anderson paints. Oops, nevermind. —khal