I was making a list of my favorite comedy movies for a Spanish friend when I thought of Rushmore. For me Rushmore is not just a great movie, it has something that few movies, that few works of art possess. It has originality. Ironically, the film borrows heavily from a number of films including Good Will Hunting, The Godfather, Serpico, and Apocalypse Now (remind me if I have missed one or two) but this doesn’t take away from the fact that Rushmore stands alone. I also think that whether or not someone likes the movie is a judge of character. I’m not saying that if you don’t like the movie this means that you're a bad person; it just means that you probably stand on the polar opposite from me on every significant issue in life. I realize that there’s a bit of hyperbole in that statement but this is what Rushmore does to people.
The film is positively laugh-out-loud funny in many places and it has something that makes the humor even more special. At the very core there is a sweetness that only very few films can pull off without being saccharine or maudlin. I think that this sweetness is also evident in the soundtrack (someone gave me the CD as a gift) which has a song called Kite flying society; what could be sweeter than that?
Rushmore is so completely unlike any other movie about teenagers that it can’t even be put into this category. I don’t know if I speak for anyone else but more than anything else the movie makes me wish that I could go back to that age and be a little more like Max Fischer, something I think the director had in mind with the closing song in the film with the chorus, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” I remember hearing a reporter ask a celebrity if there is anything good about growing older. Without a breath of irony or sarcasm the 50 something star answered, “Absolutely nothing.” I suppose this would be true if—like this celebrity—you have made no effort to become smarter or more interesting as a person over the course of your life.