(In theaters, March 1999) It’s unfortunate that Rushmore‘s biggest claim to excellence are the things it doesn’t do rather than what is actually shown on-screen. Granted, it takes genius nowadays to make an original coming-of-age film, but doing so doesn’t ensure success. The star of Rushmore is its protagonist Max, a brilliant (?) student who can’t be categorized with easy clichés but doesn’t necessarily deserve unqualified sympathy from the audience. (Why does he keep on pursuing the teacher when the Asian girl is so much hotter?) The script itself is fairly good, but oscillates between the absurd and the realistic in a way that tantalizes audiences with the promise of a far funnier film.