I remembered Broderick as being more sympathetic the first time I saw the film. re-watching it, I was surprised at how unlikeable he really is. Really, for much of the film, I thought Tracy was the most sympathetic character.
Until she lies to cover up her tearing down the posters. When Broderick is caught in a similar situation (walking in on his wife and the woman he attempted to sleep with) he doesn't argue to defend himself, he accepts his mistake and leaves. This makes him slightly more honorable, I guess. But then he deflects his anger and disappointment onto both the other woman ("Why did you do that? You ruined my life!") and a kid (by rigging the election).
I'm left with no real protagonist. I don't know what to do with that.
I didn't remember much from my first viewing of the film, but just from the poster and DVD cover, I went into this viewing expecting Broderick to be the sympathetic David to Flick's unstoppable Goliath. Not really how it plays out, though. We don't even really get to see him be an especially good teacher, despite his rep. In the classroom scenes, nobody but Tracy seems that engaged (ooh! ooh! Mr. Kotter! Mr. Kotter!). edit:
I guess that could be a comment on how Teacher of the Year voting is no different than student government voting.
The strategy of multiple narrators (taken from the novel) seemed to set up the possibility of multiple protagonists, but the film pretty much abandons that after the first act and sticks to McAllister's point of view, I think. It's kind of funny because I got restless when, twenty-five minutes in, the film was still introducing new narrators; but then, thirty-five minutes in, I got annoyed because we were stuck with Broderick's character. I probably had the most sympathy for Tammy just because she was the only character whose goal didn't seem empty, but I really could have used more of this kid:
Oh, and Rushmore is better than either of these films.
Going into this matchup, I wasn't sure I agreed with that. But now I do.I know about you and the teacher.