I really wanted to like this film, I really did. Wes Anderson is such a talented director, and his Moonrise Kingdom is one of my favorites. However, I really feel like this missed the boat at many points in this movie. Max's character is just so loosely defined and incredibly unlikeable. He just wanders around for most of the time in jealousy, never redeeming himself in the end. Extraneous side characters (Guggenheim, Dirk, the twins, etc.) serve almost no purpose except to exist. Events like building a main character spending most of his fortune on building an aquarium is only referenced, never seen. The final play (climax?) was a war play, which I felt was incredibly out of place for a school's production.
Overall, decent filmmaking and ok script balance out poorly written characters. I wish Anderson had made this more whimsical (like his later films). Playing the characters straight just didn't work for me.