Admission (2013)

Director: Paul Weitz

Starring: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Gloria Reuben, Michael Sheen, Lily Tomlin

The way I saw it, Admission could have gone one of two ways. It could have either been a hilarious spot-on comedy with two strong lead comedic actors, or it could have been a comedy that puts all the funny parts in the previews and then drags out the rest. Let’s just say for me, it was the latter. I was excited for this movie, I really was. Paul Rudd and Tina Fey both in one quirky rom-com? I was looking forward to it. However, they put these actors in two very predictable roles that left little to the imagination.

The plot isn’t a bad one, it’s actually pretty unique. However, this movie was presented as a comedy and the plot left little to laugh at. Our protagonist is Portia (Tina Fey), who is the usual straitlaced and serious admissions officer at Princeton University. Portia is in a depressingly boring relationship with Mark (Michael Sheen) and it looks like the biggest excitement of her life is competing for Head of Admissions with co-worker Corinne (Gloria Reuben). That is, until she meets John (Paul Rudd) who runs the Quest School, an alternative school designed to challenge students in atypical ways. John introduces Portia to a student, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), not only because he believes he would thrive as a student at Princeton but also because he believes him to be Portia’s son whom she put for adoption 18 years ago. Because of this, Portia finds herself breaking all kinds of rules in order to see that Jeremiah has a chance at becoming admitted, which proves to be a trying task that changes the life she once knew.

Like I said, the story is a good one but is just too serious for the comedic factor that the movie was billed to have. It’s a fine movie but bound to disappoint if people go in expecting lots of laughs. Paul Rudd and Tina Fey are both likable actors so they are probably the highlight of the film and the reason most people won’t be too dissatisfied. Nat Wolff, who plays Fey’s “son”, also does a good job portraying his character as a peculiar but incredibly smart kid who we really want to see get admitted to Princeton. In the end, the characters are believable and you will find yourself rooting for them.

If you go into this movie expecting a dramatic romantic comedy than I’m sure it will do just fine. Although it wasn’t what I expected, I still enjoyed watching it and liked how they played on the admissions process of college in general. It was a fresh idea that appealed to me (being a college student) and I’m sure this movie will appeal to audiences that can identify with Tina Fey’s character as well, a sort of mid-life crisis and “changing your ways” idea behind her. The film had some small chuckles in it but nothing to be remembered. I wouldn’t suggest paying full price for a ticket for this movie, but probably saving it until it hits Red Box.

Rating: C+

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