Airplane to CA
Great performance by both lead actors
The film opens with the math teacher being asked about a math question so impossible that if any one of his students were to solve it, they will never have to open another math book for the rest of their lives. The teacher asks Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) to take a crack at it, he puts down his newspaper and walks up to the board and gets it right to tremendous applause by his classmates only to wake up. This sets the audience up to believe he is one of the most intelligent kids at the prep school Rushmore only to find out that he is one of the worst students at the school. He is at risk of being expelled.
Max may be one of the worst students but he finds a lot of time for extracurricular studies as either presidents or founder. His ambition far exceeds his actual intelligence. He is only fifteen and comes from a modest background. His father is a barber and his mother is dead. He got a academic scholarship to the school for writing a play when he was 7. He impresses everyone he meets, including the father of his classmates named Herman Bluthe (Bill Murray). Blume and Max become friends.
Max also meets new teacher Rosemary Cross, a widower whose husband went to Rushmore years ago before meeting her. Max develops a crush on her and soon, so does Bluthe. The two then fight for her affection before Max is kicked out of school and she dumps Bluthe. The rest of the film involves Max making up with Bluthe and trying to win her back for him while trying to make public school a little more like Rushmore.
Seymour Cassel plays Bert Fischer, Max's loving father who is such an absolutely wonderful man that it's a shame he wasn't in the film more. He supports his son through every endeavor and imagines huge things for him. Even when Max drops out of school and starts to apprentice with his Dad, Bert still wants the best, but on Max's terms. He may be overwhelmed raising a kid on his own, but he is such a great guy.
This film works not only as a great introduction to Anderson's style, but the starting point for the Bill Murray/indie relationship that would eventually land him his only Oscar nomination to date.
Perhaps I felt more sympathetic to Jason Schwartzman's Max character in my early '20s, or it could be something as simple as my tastes in film having changed, but I found the character fairly exhausting on this re-watch, so I don't know what to make of that.
Still, it's an enjoyable, well-made film and well worth your time.
Give it a rental.
The film has a few gut-bursting, hilarious scenes. The soundtrack is full of obscure 60s and 70s rock songs pieced together by the founder of Devo.
This script is written so well that there are few, if any, periods where the film is trying to find itself. The film is constant flowing from one scene to the next, held tightly together by a great story and protagonist.
High recommendation for people who are looking for a light-hearted comedy.