It was bound to happen eventually, they have made a film about my high school years.
Oh sure, some of the names are different and some of the events have been slightly altered, but it's my life, as plain as the nose on my editor's face.
The movie is Rushmore, and I wonder when the writers of this film had the time to do the research needed on my life to place it so magnificently upon the screen. Oh, they tried to be discreet, tried
to throw me off their trail with their poetic license, but I am far too clever for them.
Instead of my name, The Self-Made Critic, they use Max Fischer. It's a subtle change, but take a closer look, the letter S-M-C are right there in the name. That's not an accident. Instead of Sister
Mary Alice's School of Bondage and Elocution, the movie takes place at Rushmore Academy. Again, the similarities are staggering.
I am actually touched that the creators of the indi-hit Bottle Rocket chose the story of my acne-ridden past for their second feature. It makes sense though, they are filmmakers who understand
obsession, and I am obsession incarnate.
This cleverly written film, as any film about my youth would have to be, centers on young Max as he becomes enamored of a teacher. I can only assume this is a parallel to the time I tried to adopt a
Lhasa Apso from the pound. In the film, Max's affections for the teacher are shared by Bill Murray, who gives a dazzling performance. He must represent the old blind guy at the pound who also wanted
to adopt the dog.
Naturally, the minor skirmish that erupted over this poor mutt was not quite as exciting as what transpires in the film, but the essential feelings are similar. Instead of the heated argument between
myself and the elderly gentleman over the size of our respective yards, Max lets a hive of bees loose in Bill Murray's room. Instead of my using some stale candy corn to win the puppy's love, Max
uses a million-dollar aquarium project. Again, while the details are slightly different, the similarities are obvious and mind-boggling.
There are other events which are obviously taken from my troubled youth. For example, my penchant for yodeling to get a classmate's attention is replaced by Max's skeet shooting at the students. And
my ultimate desire to become the world class writer that I am is symbolized here by having Max write some really incredible plays.
After viewing my life on the screen, I had a number of thoughts enter my mind. The first was that I should sue the filmmakers, I'd be sure to win in any court. But that thought subsided when I
realized that deep down I was actually quite honored to have my high school years turned into a good movie. My second thought was that yes, this was a good movie. Hard to describe, but good. Just
The third and final thought (I only get so many a day) was that, as much as I pleaded, they never let me put on a show in high school with so much TNT. I was forced to use the old standby theatre
trick of strobe lights and reynolds wrap.
Anyway, if you piece through this review, you'll find that Rushmore is a worthy movie. Worthy of your money, of your patronage, of your love. And when you watch it, remember, it's really all about
I give it 3 3/4 Babylons. It would have gotten more Babylons if it had just come out in the open and called itself "A Critic Scorned: The Self-Made Critic's Story." Their loss.
I am letting the SMC live in his little fantasy world for one more week, and then I am taking the advice of one of Brunching's self-proclaimed loyal fan, Daniel Haufschild, who wrote to me and said:
"I believe it would be much to the benefit of everyone if you allowed one of the Self-Made's reviews to be posted publicly without any editing. No, stop and think. It would actually be funny, for one,
which would make it stand out from the other reviews. And, both you(the Editor) and us (the loyal fans) could have a good laugh. All in all, a 100% successful (potentially) plan!"
I agree, Dan. Let's see what the SMC writes without the literary stylings of yours truly. Consider this a disclaimer.
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Luke Wilson, A Hive of Bees and Teen Angst.