Movie Review: Rushmore

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My weekend viewing was pretty light. Friday night, I watched Rushmore, a Netflix movie I had been putting off watching. One of those movies I'm not sure how it got on my list, or even how
it ever percolated to the top. Movies about high school angst do nothing for me.

But while waiting for the girls to finish their swim class, I was flipping through a magazine. It was some supplement magazine put out by Wired, and it was all about movies. And in it was a very interesting list (who doesn't love lists?) of the 50 best movie soundtracks of all time. My Google-fu fails me on finding this list, but suffice to say that Rushmore was on it, and pretty high up too. So I was spurred on to give it a viewing.

And I liked it. It was wacky enough to overcome my natural dislike of movies that celebrate high school angst. Telling the story of a natural born slacker who looks for corners to cut and things to do besides schoolwork, who falls in love with a teacher, competes with Bill Murray for her attention, finds out the truth of the maxim "Revenge is a dish best served cold", and comes to settle into his own life, Rushmore does a good job of keeping you off balance. And the fact it had the beautiful Olivia Williams (sadly underutilized in films since), didn't hurt either.

But it did involve too much high schooler pathos at times. I'm sorry, but to be honest, my high school years just weren't that bad, and I have no urge to relive someone else's horrible times there. I was involved in enough sports and academic stuff to blend well enough with both the geeks and the athletes. Sure, I had my heart broken a few times, but not so that it scarred me for life. And while the times weren't too bad, they were neither the high point nor the low point of my life, and so I'm just not interested in revisiting them. Sure, the old "if I knew then what I know now" would kick in, and yes I did have a big crush on one of my high school teachers like Max Fischer did, but they are mostly times well served by warm over memories.

Rushmore was rescued by the completely believable performances by Jason Schwartzman as the geeky, gawky Max Fischer, and the aforementioned Bill Murray and Olivia Williams, as well as by the superb soundtrack. Some great songs were in there, from all over the map, but the new wave / grunge metal was the best. I really liked the last song, "Ooh La La" by the Faces and Rod Stewart (speaking of "wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger"!). So, all in all, it was well worth watching, even if you don't like "coming of age" movies.



6 Comments

[this is good] I went to go see this film with a friend just because we liked Bill Murray. I had no idea what it was about, which is rare for me to go see a movie in a theater when I know nothing about it. I was blown away, I'd never seen a film like it. My sheltered suburban upbringing didn't prepare me for a movie like this.....I loved it. It was genius, as far as I was concerned.

How weird. I have this on VHS and I was thinking just last night, "I should fire up the old video player and watch Rushmore."

[this is good] I liked this film a good deal.  Guess I don't have quite the anti- high-school-movie mentality you have, although I'd avoid those that use the high school as the pivot-point around which the movie rotates.Seeing Rushmore made me want to see The Royal Tenenbaums.  Seeing that made me want to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.  Notice a connection? ;-)

I haven't seen Rushmore yet, mostly because I thought that The Royal Tenenbaums was one of the most disappointing movies I've ever seen.  But then again, I absolutely loved The Life Aquatic, and I've liked everything else that Bill Murray has been in, from Where the Buffalo Roam to Broken Flowers...  I'll get around to Rushmore eventually...

I vaguely remember enjoying Royal Tennebaums, although to be honest I don't have a crystal clear memory of it. I do need to add Life Aquatic to my Netflix list.And I guess it is just hard to picture a movie about high schoolers that didn't pivot on the fact. Even Brick, which should otherwise be a film I truly enjoyed, was dampened by its emphasis on high school cliques. Ah well, just count it a quirk, I guess.I just got back from the music store with my Faces double CD set!

By the way, I just realized there's another connection to the 3 movies I mentioned...they all have really interesting/good soundtracks.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on April 7, 2008 7:42 AM.

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