Thursday, April 11, 2013


Admission is directed by Paul Weitz and is based on the novel of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz. The film is supposed to compare the college application process to a mid-life crisis while skirting around the process of choosing the best students for an elite university. 

Straitlaced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by the free-wheeling John Pressman (Paul Rudd).  John has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago.  Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted with Mark (Michael Sheen) where they don't define themselves and hold onto their independence.  However, in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having she has lost her true identity. 

For most of the film I wanted the Dean of Admissoins, Clarence, played by Wallace Shawn, to say that bringing Jeremiah to Princeton was "inconceivable" only to have Tina Fey respond with "I don't think that word means what you think it means".  Possible the best performance of the film was given by Lily Tomlin as Susannah, the distant mother of Portia, with uneven boobs that comes full circle in her relationship with her daughter by the end of the film.  I was hoping for more from Michael Sheen, but he could have just as easily been left out of the film providing little more than a push to Portia towards John, which is beyond improbable. 

The film was a fun and simple comedy, but doesn't deliver much beyond the fact that it was nice seeing Tina Fey and Paul Rudd together.  They both have a quirky humor that works well off each other.  Unfortunately, the plot is so contrived that you will find yourself shaking your head for most of the film.  Their relationship in the film is utterly unbelievable.  The conclussion of the film is rather predictable and left me wanting more.  It could have been better to explore who Portia's father was or to have the child she gave up hinted at even if wasn't revealed to her.  If it wasn't for Tina Fey and Paul Rudd this would be a lower rating, but I will give it 2 Quacks. 

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