"Rushmore" Talkback (Spoilers)

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA

That was a sweetly charming film, but in all honesty, it's much less so in 2022 than when it was released.

I can't think of another teenage boy fictional character you could label precocious, but Max Fisher qualifies. The fact that he's both an overachiever and the worst student in school says everything about how messed up his priorities are. But I think in hindsight I find a lot of his behavior unforgivable.

And yeah, him trying to force himself on Miss Cross could almost be considered an attempted rape if he weren't so much weaker than she was and posed no threat. I don't love that aspect of the film, but it doesn't drive me as crazy as it might have with a different character. The thing that bugs me is the bit about what Max says about Dirk's mom to Magus. What makes it utterly unforgivable to me is how thoughtlessly Max comes up with the lie. It is the thing that haunts Dirk throughout the film in realizing Max is a crummy friend, and it was just said off the top of his head to win an argument. And yeah, Max's pushiness in the MeToo era sucks now. But the truth is Max is a crappy friend. I also don't understand why he was let out of jail after cutting Herman's brakes. That's known in most legal circles as attempted murder.

Years later, I find Max less precocious and adorable, and more narcissistic and petty. I also don't like how shabbily he treats the girl who actually digs him.

I will say this. This was the movie that proved to everybody that Bill Murray is always the best thing in any given movie Bill Murray appears in. I care less about Max's struggles now, and much more about Herman's clear loneliness and desperation as the film progresses. The only reason I'm willing to forgive Max at all is because he actually set up Herman and Rosemary when he realizes how much he actually needs her.

It's a sweet film with a bittersweet ending. But it lands a bit differently today than when I first saw it. ****.
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Well-Known Member
Jul 14, 2010
I liked this quite a bit in my teens. Don't know if I would like this now. I haven't really liked any Wes Anderson films since.


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