Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: Rushmore (1998)

We should give all aloof academics the job of writing a Titty Comedy. Shenanigans would turn into Overachieving in the Wrong Areas, Conquest wouldn't be as important or satisfying as Making Amends, Juvenile Jokes would be sucker-punches that take active parts in the plot. Comedies could be, yknow, consistently delightful. In fact, with all of the fun you have watching it, it's easy to miss that the second act, the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, takes up most of the movie. Like he did in Bottle Rocket, Anderson plays with storytelling structure, speeding up the fun parts and slowing down the painful ones. He isn't afraid to make us watch Max spiral out of control in procedural detail, meanwhile jetting through the fun at the school in montage and then kicking Max out. The toil is so long that the resolution gives you permission to breathe again.

The title of the film ends up being sort of a mislead; it isn't about a school any more than Moby Dick is about a whale. As the characters helpfully state towards the end, it's the Thing You Think You Live For. It's the Dream.

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