Review Date: February 07, 1999
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson
Producers: Barry Mendell and Paul Shiff
Jason Schwartzman as Max Fischer
Bill Murray as Herman Blume
Olivia Williams as Rosemary Cross
Max Fischer is a unique high school student who has all the talent in the world, but cannot seem to focus on any one thing that he enjoys doing, besides attending Rushmore high that is. One day, he falls for a 1st grade teacher who appreciates his persistent adoration, but cannot reciprocate his feelings. Max's friend and rich mentor, whose kids also attend Rushmore, also falls for the 1st grade teacher, and unintentionally creates a childish "love war" between the two.
Quirky, unique, original in style, funny as heck, with some great performances put forth by the entire cast, this movie offers an extremely viable alternative to all of us who are sick and tired of watching the same old Hollywood comedies done in the same old boring way. This film has wit up its ying-yang, a tremendous soundtrack that goes perfectly with the black humorous tone of the flick, and a script that always has you wanting to see and know more. I did find that the last act of this piece was not as solid as the first two, the confidence seemed to be lacking, but all in all, a great show! This movie made me laugh out loud during several scenes, enjoy and smile gratuitously at various clever shots and moments, and fully appreciate the originality of a film that doesn't seem to come around often enough.
Bill Murray is amazing as the rich, indifferent old fart, who chain-smokes like it's going out of style, and carries a lit fuse right into all of his mannerisms. It's beautiful to see him finally chew into some material that accentuates his underrated acting abilities. Jason Schwartzman is also fantastic as the know-it-all, smart-aleck kid who carries around enough enthusiasm to sustain a thousand regular kids in any high school of our day. He's been given some great lines to work with here, but he delivers them all perfectly, and essentially, turns into Max Fischer. I don't mind saying that he reminded me a bit of a role by another diminutive actor by the name of Dustin Hoffman, in a little film called THE GRADUATE back in 1967. Let's hope that his career goes further than his mom's ever did . All in all, this movie's loaded with plenty of fun eye and ear candy, a totally creative script, some great performances by everyone involved, and a thoroughly original time at the movie theatre.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian