Rushmore by Wes Anderson
If I had a dime for every time I recommended this film to a friend, I’d be a wealthy man. One of my fave films from 1998, Rushmore follows Max Fischer, an overachiever at Rushmore Academy who is involved in nearly every extracurricular activity you could imagine (though his grades are terrible).
But that’s not all. He befriends one of the school’s alums, the wealthy Herman Blume, and falls in love with a new teacher, Rosemary Cross. Problem is that Blume loves her too, and what follows is a battle for Ms. Cross’ affections. But to leave it at that would be missing nearly all of the film’s charisma. It’s 50% romance, 50% coming of age, and 100% offbeat comedy.
The humor is wonderfully low-key and dark, the dialog is witty, and the performances (especially Bill Murray as Blume) are incredible. And the finale, a high school play about the Vietnam War, is a riot. I watched the Criterion Collection DVD, which comes packed with extras (including some hilarious parodies/homages done for the MTV Movie Awards). Highly recommended. Now where’s my check?