Beth’s Classic Film Club: Rushmore

One of my all-time favorite movies, hands-down, is Rushmore. I can’t even put into words how much I love it. I feel like there is so much wisdom in that film. The secret to happiness is “you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life.” “Kids don’t like it when their parents get divorced.” “Too many extracurricular activities, Max. Not enough studying.” “Sic transit gloria. Glory fades.”

I’ve said in the past, before The Cancer, that I’m raising Max Fischer. The Boy hasn’t shown the leadership skills that Max has, but he’s shown all the distraction from studying. He’s also just as persistent when he sets his mind to something. I feel like, given the opportunity, he would attempt to procure some piranhas from a guy in South America. And the Boy feels deeply, and believes deeply in the importance of whatever his latest opus is, just like Max.

And then The Cancer happened, and of course, Max’s mom died of cancer.

The scene where we learn this is one where Max is talking to Rosemary, a teacher he is in love with, about her dead husband. He asks how the husband died, and she says he drowned. She asks how his mother died, and he says “Cancer.” Before I had The Cancer, this struck me as so romanticist, I mean, is there any way more perfectly tragic for someone to die than drowning or cancer? AIDS maybe. Rent has taken on new meaning for me lately too, especially because people with AIDS can get a very rare form of cancer.

The thing is, as fucked up as Max is, he’s actually a pretty great kid. Despite losing his mom. It gives me hope that if The Cancer takes me sooner instead of the later we all hope for, my kids are going to turn out just fine. Like Max, they have an awesome dad, and I’ve found them a good school. It won’t be easy for them, but they’ll get there.

If you haven’t seen Rushmore, seriously, go watch it. And then think about what your Rushmore is, and do it for the rest of your life.