A Dash of Awkward, a Splash of Charming (Film Series): #1


November is a time for food. Partially because of the meal-based holiday at the end of the month, but also I find as the weather turns colder here in Wisconsin, we begin to gather for bonfires, conversations, and other activities that invariably include food. This is one of the most common ways we connect and create community. 

Creating community lies with the art and act of conversation. However, conversations are not simple. They can go in a variety of directions and as many of us know those conversations can sometimes be both awkward and charming. It is this type of conversation that I am showcasing in the November film series: A Dash of Awkward, a Splash of Charming. Three Fridays and three films (skipping Black Friday this year) that include tension, saying the wrong thing, and a bit of love.

Rushmore (1998)

In the Wes Anderson's Rushmore, Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) was hoping to sweep one Ms. Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams) off her feet. He is a 15-year-old student and she his widowed teacher at Rushmore Academy. His infatuation is thwarted by his friend, Herman Blume (Bill Murray), but that does not stop Max from scheming to either get revenge against his friend or to simply win over Ms. Cross. 

This pretty much catches us up to the scene at hand. Max has written a hit play to impress Ms. Cross. He wants to upstage his friend Blume, but in the process is frustrated that Ms. Cross not only brought a male friend, Dr. Peter Flynn (Luke Wilson) to his play, but also to the dinner he arranged after with her and Blume. Max is not at all concerned with his friend Blume at this moment (but he should be as Blume only has eyes for Rosemary), but targets his anger directly at Flynn, starting with "I like your nurse's uniform, guy." Fueled by alcohol, he rants about how he has written a play and is confused by Mr. Cross bringing someone along. The tension and awkward moments build until the splash of charming that, though a bit deranged, is admirable: "Oh, my God! I wrote a hit play!... And I'm in love with you." And no one knows what to say in response.

Watch the scene below and decide for yourself if it is a perfect example of "A Dash of Awkward, a Splash of Charming." Then do not forget to check back next week for the second installment.