Yidio Reviews: 'Admission'

The previews for “Admission” seemed to offer all of my favorite things—a little quirky romance, a good storyline, and comedic gold in actors like Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.

Unfortunately, the editors who cut trailers earned their money on this one. For starters, anyone pulled in by the romantic comedy appeal of the movie will be sorely disappointed. What little romance there is between Fey and Rudd is brief, back-seat, and frankly not the greatest chemistry combination.

The story actually is as follows:

“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.”

Yes, this is about a secret love child, and a mother's guilt and professional struggle.

I must have fallen asleep during the “exhilarating” life she moved toward. The biggest moment of backbone I saw during the film was when she stood up to her mother (played by the ever-talented Lily Tomlin). Generally, Fey’s character Portia was busier trying to come to terms with her past than embrace any kind of future. The back-and-forth between Portia and John (Rudd) could have lightened things up and brought in my interest, but in the end, audiences agree they mostly felt sorry for her, and any romance seemed tossed in as an afterthought.

Try as Fey and Rudd might to save the film, the humor was also terribly sparse. Fey’s eye rolls and Rudd’s wide grin can only go so far. much of this movie seemed more gap-filler than anything concrete. I'm pretty sure they listed the name, background, and professional aspirations of every single Princeton applicant at one point. I actually contemplated a nap.

“Admission” had its moments where it was heartfelt, or funny, but they were few and far between, and seemed drown entirely in drawn-out by strained attempts to follow standard plot lines. If editors for the film were as talented as those who cut the trailer, this might have turned out a fair movie.

Verdict: Worth seeing if you're not expecting a comedy... but rent it on DVD so you can fast forward through the slow parts.

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