Dreaming big and aiming high is a dangerous business but when things go awry it's important to land on one's feet. Coming of age films with teen protagonists seem to be a dime a dozen but obviously not when put in Wes's hands.
Nothing in this film works off of cliches or stereotypes, in fact, you would probably say it's over-the-top-zany. What makes it a truly great film though, is that it's all relentlessly grounded by authentic emotion.
Great cast/characters, romance, off-beat humor and resolutions; to me, probably one of Anderson's more rounded accessible works.
I think Anderson strays from his usual themes in this film and that's what I didn't like about it. But, like I said, the humor was there.
Rushmore feels slightly different from Wes Anderson's other movies. It still has his trademark style, dialogue, and memorable characters, certainly. But there isn't as much of his normal focus on visually interesting sets, and the characters feel more lovable.
Their flaws aren't as self-destructive as the characters in The Royal Tenenbaums or The Darjeeling Limited. Young Max (Jason Schwartzman, cleverly handling a character who somehow manages to be both an underachiever AND an overachiever), his chosen infatuation, Miss Cross (Olivia Williams), and his disaffected older friend Mr. Blume (Bill Murray) aren't perfect, but Anderson chooses to make them less quirky than is his usual habit.
It's an interesting decision which changes the tone of the movie somewhat, but if you like most of Anderson's other work, this will probably be right up your alley, too. It's an endearing little movie about life and finding what makes it all worth it for you, and I enjoyed it.