Napoleon Dynamite vs. Rushmore

Similar movies.

What you like better?

I have grown to like Napoleon Dynamite alot! Mainly because the soundtrack fits the movie so well! as did Rushmore’s. But I think Napoleon Dynamite’s soundtrack is better! It revitalized my interest for old 80s synth pop again!


I am offended by this comparison. Rushmore and Napoleon Dynamite are similar movies in the way that Dr. Strangelove and Very Bad Things are similar.

Rushmore has characters. ND has caricatures. Rushmore has actual humor. ND has a string of unrelated gags. Rushmore has a story. ND has a string of unrelated gags. Rushmore has heart. ND has a string of unrelated gags.

ND is a decent movie, but don’t make it more than it is. It is an entertaining diversion, but nothing more. Rushmore is brilliance that will be remembered.

ND is better.

I realized Rushmore was overrated after watching Royal T.


Rushmore is overrated. ND is overrated. This thread is overrated. For that matter, so am I. :-)

I like both movies, but I think Rushmore walks all over Dynamite when it comes to having a cohesive plot, strong characters, and an amazing sound track. Actually, I think a comparison to Bottle Rocket might be instructive as they both are fist movies based on a short with interesting characters, but a rather weak central plot. I’m curious to see what Jared Hess produces in his 2nd effort, cause if he makes the same kind of strides as Wes Anderson he’ll be set.

Just to throw everyone for a loop, here’s my take: Rushmore is a better movie, but I like Napoleon Dynamite better.


ND sucks the fat one.

Rushmore is to ND like South park is to Family Guy.

Rushmore is to ND as Fred Astaire is to Gene Kelly.

Guys, Rushmore is in SD. Crack an atlas, would ya?

So very interesting, that I consider the two movies the exact opposite of how you view them. Not that I’m saying my taste or perception is superior, but I can honestly say that I could switch the comments for both movies and be in total agreement.

Rushmore was the standard schlock with hyper-aware kids, hyper-damaged straightman adults, and ridiculous emotional upheavals. Napoleon Dynamite was a surprisingly accurate portrayal of how strange small-town kids are, and how funny that can be when viewed from a distance. Excepting the final triumphant dance number, I grew up with every one of those kids, and they absolutely nailed it.


I enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite. It wasn’t great but it was good. Where as Rushmore was horrible. I really think that anyone who says Rushmore is great is playing a trick on everyone so others will suffer like they have.

I thought Rushmore was ok. Napoleon Dynamite on the other hand is flat out bad, what a tedious unfunny movie.

Oh, and I think Welcome to the Dollhouse is a better comparison to Napoleon Dynamite than Rushmore, and also a better movie.

This thread is like a ticking troll time bomb.

Anyway, I agree with Tom again, which is getting annoying. ND is fun to watch, its pathos (such as it is) is fairly weak, so the emotional commitment is low. John Heder doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his acting in the film.

Rushmore, though, there is a lot to Rushmore that resonates, to me anyway. It’s very well-written and features what are IMO Anderson’s most realistic characters out of all of his films. Everything is more subtle, accentuating the emotional component. I like to adjust my monocle, stroke my beard and laud Rushmore for its brilliance from time to time. But I’ll always stop on cable when I hit ND and watch it, and enjoy it.

Man, maybe I need to watch Napoleon Dynamite again, but I found it almost painfully not funny and the complete inverse of entertaining. It was painful to watch. I just sat there the whole time saying, “Why am I not seeing what everyone else apparently saw in this?”

I adore Rushmore, and think it’s Anderson’s best film by far. I don’t understand the love for Tennenbaums at all; it’s a diorama, not a movie. It has no life at all, it’s just a collection of perfectly framed shots full of twee characters with no resemblance to human beings. Well, the exception there is Royal, because it’s pretty much impossible for Gene Hackman not to come across like a real human being. (Talk about being underrated.)

For me, Rushmore was way better written and directed, more complex, and generally an outstanding film. Napolean Dynamite has some decent stuff but, in my opinion, is going to be a more flavor of the week type thing (like Garden State, which I also liked). ND is just a gimmick basically, a 90 minute gimmick with a few nice moments thrown in.

I’m tellin’ ya, it’s all about how you relate to it. To me, Rushmore seemed populated with overwritten pansies aching to feel the stage beneath their feet, so they can project Kevin Smith-esque overwrought dialogue to the back seats. Napoleon Dynamite felt like going through high school again, with a few more interesting things happening.

Let’s take a poll: Rushmore or ND, and where you grew up. I say ND and rural Kentucky.


I didn’t like ND at all. It may well have been an accurate portrait of the kind of vaguely repellant, remedial mouthbreathers that you sometimes encounter in life, but, alas, I need a compelling reason to observe the socially retarded for long periods of time, and the movie did not provide me with one.

Rushmore was okay, but I have to admit that I find Wes Anderson’s self-conscious quirkiness to be rather irritating. Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon.

Rushmore and MA.

I like them both. Wellington, New Zealand.