Max Fischer is a geeky 15 year old at the exclusive Rushmore academy, whose academic slackness sits uncomfortably beside his ludicrously over-stuffed bag of extra-curricular activities. Max is also very precocious, and he becomes friends with wealthy school benefactor and parent of twin wrestling meatheads, Herman Blume, whilst also falling in love with recently widowed art teacher Rosemary Cross. When Cross, freaked out by Max's infatuation with her, pushes him away, Blume himself, played by a world-weary Bill Murray falls in love with her and they begin dating, much to Max's disgust and chagrin.
Wes Anderson's off-kilter style, also seen in films such as `The Royal Tenenbaums' and `The Darjeeling Limited', was obviously honed on this movie. Schwartzman excels as the cocky but grating Max, and his friendship with Murray's disillusioned millionaire Blume is both affecting and slyly humourous. The film is at heart a darkly skewed comedy, but sometimes appears somewhat uncomfortable in its own skin, and occasionally tries to be too clever for its own good.
Ultimately Rushmore mostly succeeds as a quirky comedy-drama, and with appearances by the likes of Luke Wilson and Brian Cox in supporting roles, it is packed with contemporary and old-school talent, resulting in a mature yet fresh cinematic experience.