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Rushmore VHS DVD

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A very odd movie.  I got the impression that this was a modern remake of some classic.  Since I don't know my classics, I got the feeling during most of this movie that I was missing many references.  It was a comedy, but certainly not a formula Hollyweird laugh-fest.  A 15-year-old kid at a prep school who has a crush on a teacher just as Bill Murray's character falls for her at the same time.  But it feels like there's more there.

The kid is into many extra-curricular activities.  Some of them I remember are a backgammon club, a kite flying club, and head of the crossing guard.  They flashed at least ten others.  He's also the head of the drama club and a couple of his plays are used as part of the story.  For another device, he acts as a mentor for a younger kid, like 10 years old.  This gives him a couple of place to exposit or for another character to react to his actions.

In some places he comes across as a kiss-ass.  Specifically, at the beginning Bill Murray's character gives a fairly cynical speach and the kid comes up afterwards and praises him.  And when trying to impress another character he lies and says his father is a neurosurgeon when he's really a barber.  In other places, he makes some grandiose pronouncement about what he plans to do.  It sounds like pure bravado but then they cut right to him pulling it off.

And that seems to be what threw me.  I just couldn't figure out when he was scheming and when he was sincere.  It also almost feels like large portions of Murray's performance was cut out.  They implied and discussed a lot of off-screen events in Murray's and the teacher's relationship.  Since I was having so much trouble following everybody's motives this just added to the confusion.

I know this movie is loved by the critics.  So obviously I'm missing something.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, this is a Cable with Popcorn and Drinks.   Maybe after I read a few reviews and see it again I'll understand it.

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