101 Funniest Screenplays

Wes Anderson’s characters aren’t strange so much as lit from within by their idiosyncratic behaviors. Max (Jason Schwartzmann) is a 15-year-old outsider at a rich kids’ prep school, a self-starter with droll interests (he is, among other things, president of both the Model U.N. and the Calligraphy Club). He’s also in love with a first-grade teacher, a pursuit in which a deadpan Bill Murray (a local steel tycoon, parent and school benefactor) becomes at first an ally and then a rival. Discussing Rushmore for Matt Zoller Seitz’s book The Wes Anderson Collection, the writer-director said of his screenwriting process: “Every movie I've done is this accumulation of information about these characters and who they are and what their world is, and slowly figuring out what's going to happen to them.”