Rushmore is Wes Anderson’s second feature length film and one that clearly comes straight from the heart, as it is the only film besides Bottle Rocket to take place in Texas where he was born. Rushmore is also the first film that Anderson and Bill Murray worked on together and they haven’t stopped since. Bottle Rocket had very mixed reviews in 1996, while Rushmore is what really gave Anderson the launch he needed to go on and make films like The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not only that, but Rushmore still holds up and remains somewhere in my Top 5 favorite Wes Anderson films.
Max Fischer (Schwartzman) is a teenager who attends Rushmore Preparatory School. Well, he doesn’t just attend the school, but he sort of wants to run the school. The film isn’t just about his schooling experience, but more about a love triangle between him, a first grade teacher named Rosemary Cross (Williams), and a rich industrialist named Herman Blume (Murray). Max is obsessed with school and winning Rosemary’s heart over, but he has trouble at Rushmore, which causes trouble elsewhere. He is a determined fellow just like Herman Blume, which causes a friendship to start, fold, and rebuild over Rosemary.
Rushmore is as Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson as it gets. Owen got expelled from a prep school in Dallas, Texas, so he and Wes wrote a very personable film that still holds up over 20 years later. The film is honestly lights out hilarious at times, like when Bill Murray blocks a random-ass basketball shot or jumps into a pool with a cigarette and drink in hand. I’m a total sucker for Anderson’s style of storytelling. I’ll continue to rewatch his filmography forever, but Rushmore holds a special place in my heart as I see the importance of it connecting with audiences back in 1998.