|2013||107 Min||Comedy . Drama . Romance|
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 her former college classmate, the freewheeling John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Pressman 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 -- but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
|Actors:||Nat Wolff , Christopher Evan Welch , Elaine Kussack , Wallace Shawn , Gloria Reuben , Maggie Keenan-Bolger , Dan Levy , Ben Levin , Ann Harada , Paul Rudd , Tina Fey|
Admission is not especially funny. The trailer can’t seem to make up its mind. On the one hand, it looks like a satire of academia. On the other hand, it could be a gentle rom-com. In truth, it’s neither.
The result is a picture curiously yet intriguingly at odds with itself: One moment is edgy, the next is not; the cast is terrific, the direction is not; here it’s satirically sharp, there it’s sloppily sentimental; now we’re happily engaged, then we’re cruelly dumped. Some films are electric – Admission settles for alternating current.
Admission ultimately can’t quite figure out what kind of a film it wants to be, so like a lot of promising but unfocused contenders, it never quite lives up to its potential. But there’s value to be found in its meandering.
Admission, a likably breezy campus movie directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy), is blissfully non-insulting.
Where "About a Boy" was both funny and wise about urban alienation, Admission settles for skin deep.
Largely because of its engaging cast, Admission is an amiable, but only slightly-above-average, comic romp.
She’s (Fey) so good that — up to a point — you can ignore Paul Weitz’ erratic direction and a patchy script, both of which clumsily handle shifts between comedy and drama.
My evaluation is to wait-list Admission and catch it when it reaches the less demanding platform of home video.
Admission works in stops and starts.
Cheerful, skittish entertainment that never takes its subject seriously enough.
There's a good movie in this story. The one that got made is roughly half-good.
Fey plays this inner-outer conflict well. But at her most wide-eyed and vulnerable, she still has trouble making a romance credible, even with Rudd, edgy comedy’s puppy dog of a leading man.
I found myself curiously willing to overlook Admission’s weaknesses, or even to reinterpret them as strengths — couldn’t those inconclusive endings be seen as a refreshingly un-rom-com-like embrace of life’s open-endedness and complexity?
Lily Tomlin gives the movie a boost as Portia's radical feminist mother, who would hate this movie.
Everybody in Admission is funny - Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Lily Tomlin, Wallace Shawn - but they're not funny in Admission.
Admission is one film you may not want to get into.
Admission is pleasant enough. Even when off a bit, the talent of the cast assures that. But it’s still a disappointment. You might say it, ahem, doesn’t make the grade.
The movie’s just too boring and middlebrow.
Mr. Weitz lines up a target placed at the explosive intersection of class, race, region and every other source of societal anguish, and then does not so much miss as aim in another direction — or several — letting fly a volley of darts that land as lightly as badminton birdies.
I'd see Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in anything, but this is pushing it. Admission is so slight that a breeze could flatten it.
Admission has some sublime moments, most of them involving Fey and Rudd dancing around their inevitable romance. The problem is in the foundation.
Never finding its right tone, Admission uncomfortably founders between the story’s comic and dramatic aspects and leaves behind a lumpy residue that tars its likable leads.
Weitz, an openhearted director if not always a precise one, can't bring himself to whet the knives. Only Fey drills to the center of what Admission might have been—her performance has more layers of emotion than the picture does.
Deftly playing Tina Fey's feminist-icon mother, Lily Tomlin all but steals Admission, a knowing but uneven comedy about the neuroticism of the college-admission process on both sides of the equation.
Actions do have their consequences, though, and Weitz doesn’t try to end things too tidily for their own good. Were only that he had succeeded in committing to one of those films over the other, then Admission might have been this year’s “Liberal Arts” rather than this year’s “Smart People.”
The comedy feels forced as Fey works overtime to insert unnecessary zingers at the tail of every scene. If the cast weren’t so endearing, her actions could easily sour an audience on the whole experience, and Admission digs itself a hole only an ensemble this appealing can escape.
Doris Day will be 89 in two weeks, which makes her exactly half a century too old to play the lead in Admission. That’s a pity, as perhaps only she could have done it justice – if it had been made in 1958.
Granted, this is not automatic laugh-riot material, nor should it be, but didn’t Fey recognize how hackneyed it all is? Does being a movie star mean blanding out everything that makes you special?
The comic material really isn't there, and the plot transitions feel forced and uncomfortable.
The movie subverts expectations, and not in a good way, by seeming in a dither about its own identity. The romance is by the by, the comedy as sparse as can be. We’re left with a curious non-film about the pitfalls of higher education assessment. Odd.
Occasionally charming but mostly bland fare from Weitz, despite the reliable cast. About A Boy remains the best showcase of his talents.
These truly are dark and terrible times if we are forced to accept the elitist problems of an Ivy League college admissions officer as shameless fodder for a romcom.
While Admission remains the story of a woman who comes to question her past choices and jeopardize her career, the movie version is lighter, fluffier and dramatically inert.
Admission’s comedy has walls built around it; director Paul Weitz (About a Boy), normally a softener of harsh edges, might have been stymied by Fey’s snappy persona.
That first half of Admission is a lot for an actress to overcome. It’s not just very bad, it’s very fast, as if someone had overwound the metronome. Fairly naturalistic lines are delivered at the pace of screwball zingers — which stubbornly refuse to zing.
The estrogenic elements prove widely ineffectual, but they're just pieces of this overlong, overloaded misfire whose double-entendre title ultimately just goads the jaded viewer to admit defeat.
It’s as if Weitz knows he’s got a corpse of a film on his hands -- never trust a movie when it feels as though you can see the director clasping the defibrillator.
Nobody doesn't like Tina Fey, and anyone aware of her starring role in Admission will be wishing her well. But wishing won't make this dramedy any less dreary than it is.
The bad news about Admission is that this thin envelope of a comedy checks all the boxes for being a phoned-in, phony, padded rom-com.
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