'Rushmore'

Wes Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman plays 15-year-old prodigy Max Fischer in the 1998 comedy ‘Rushmore.’

I’m not one for cheap laughs. If you agree, look no further than Wes Anderson’s clever 1998 comedy “Rushmore,” which follows 15-year-old overachiever Max Fischer in a quest to earn his teacher’s love.

Fischer, president and founder of just about every extracurricular group at the prestigious Rushmore Academy, is a champion at just about everything he tries — that is, except for wooing women. After deciding to give this a try, he takes notice of the new first grade teacher, Miss Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams, “The Sixth Sense”).

In addition to the obvious hurdle Max tries to jump (being that he is just 15 years old), he feels he must compete for Rosemary’s love with eccentric steel tycoon Herman Blume (Bill Murray, “Groundhog Day”). The problem is that Max genuinely admires Herman, and the love triangle puts the two at odds.

Max and Herman spend a big portion of the movie trying to sabotage each other, at the expense of Rosemary. Along the way, Max is expelled from Rushmore and learns a few things about himself and his family.

“Rushmore” is a clearcut Wes Anderson film, possessing many of the quirky, witty qualities shared by other films by the writer and director. The comedy ranks a sweet 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.

Interestingly enough, “Rushmore” was co-written by Owen Wilson (what? And perhaps this explains his brother Luke Wilson’s brief cameo). The rest of the cast has real chemistry.

Besides, we all know Bill Murray can do no wrong.

“Rushmore” is rated R for language and brief nudity and has a runtime at approximately 93 minutes.

The Watauga County Public Library’s Third Thursday film club hosts a screening of “Rushmore” at 6:30 p.m. May 19. For more information, contact Darren Smith at (828) 264-8784 ext. 2 or dsmith@arlibrary.org.

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