Monday, August 12, 2013

Now at Netflix: Admission (2013)

Admission (2013) - Directed by Paul Weitz; Written by Karen Croner; Starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Lily Tomlin, Wallace Shawn, Michael Sheen, Sonya Walger.

By Kenny Howell

How can you make a movie with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, two of the most likable people in Hollywood, and have it turn out below average?

Admission isn't a terrible movie, but it seems like Fey and Rudd are restrained in a way, their natural charisma strangled by mainstream comedy conventions.

Fey plays Portia, an admissions officer at Princeton. Her boyfriend breaks up with her early in the film, just after she has met a boy that wants to go to the school, and may or may not be her son that she gave up for adoption years ago. She also strikes up a relationship with the headmaster of the progressive school the young man attends played by Rudd. Portia fights for the young man, who has a checkered academic past.

The parts of the movie that are interesting, especially about Portia's job, are glossed over. I am sure in the novel that which this film was based, it focused more on the weight of having to make so many big decisions, and also the ridiculous standards that some elite schools have, they are more interested in random tests than unique talents that could change the world.

But the filmmakers decided to go a different, more mainstream direction with it, and it ends up just making Admission one of those movies you won't be able to tell apart from the 100 others in the discount DVD bin a few years from now.

Admission is also available at Redbox, iTunes, and Amazon Instant.

Rating: *1/2

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