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|Index||70 reviews in total|
OK, let's get the bad stuff over. People say it's predictable. Yes and
no...has enough surprises to keep you in your seat. People say it's not
a comedy. Yeah, and your point? There are plenty of great movies that
aren't laugh out loud funny. Lily Tomlin's character is a scream and
very endearing. The comedy is subtle, so those wanting Tina Fey's SNL
guffaws will be unhappy. People say it's not relevant since it deals
with admissions at an elitist school. Huh? I guess Independence Day
isn't relevant because we've never had invaders from outer space. The
rest of the asinine comments I read here prior to seeing it aren't even
I really, really liked it. The interactions were believable and amusing. There were enough little off shoot subplots to keep me interested. And I'm pretty easily distracted and bored. I tend to get antsy and watch my watch if movies don't flow along at a good little clip.
It is not for young kids. They will be bored. It it not for the high action/adventure people. It is for folks who like an amusing story well told.
The amusing Admission is the first successful comedy of the year and a
reasonable look at the admission process for an elite
college--Princeton. Tina Fey as Portia and Paul Rudd as John turn in
pleasant performances as an admissions executive and a progressive
school teacher respectively. Rudd is amiable here and usually
successful in his film career, while Fey's efforts up to now have been
mediocre (Date Night, Baby Mama).
As an Alumni Admissions interviewer for over 30 years at Georgetown University, I find much of the story ringing true from the overachieving candidates nurtured by ambitious parents to the underachieving but brilliant and risky individualists. Portia must struggle with the boxed-in role of continuing the Princeton tradition (read stereotypes) or breaking away to push for a student who calls himself an "autodidact" with low grades but perfect scores on achievement tests for courses he never took.
Amid the plot's fierce applicant battle for a slot, Portia and John dance to the usual romantic formula of disliking each other to . . . Well, you know the drill. However, it's their reactions to the admission process that provide the authentic tension as he has developed students with independent minds, and she is used to the cookie-cutter candidates who lack the passion of those independents.
Director Paul Weitz knows something about family dynamics and children with his About a Boy, In Good Company, and Little Fockers among the more obvious examples. Signing up Lily Tomlin to play Portia's feminist mom was inspired; like the ubiquitous aging Alan Arkin, Tomlin should now have plenty of work.
Admission requires no small amount of sympathy for the messy business of growing up and getting aheadWeitz navigates the vagaries of family ambition well. If the double-meaning of the title seems too precious to you, don't worry, the rest of the story is almost unambiguous.
Although Admission is mostly about applicants to an upper-tier college, it also poses the unethical means some might employ to gain entrance. Even Portia is not blameless, a touch I found in the film's favor while it deals with the unreal segment of our population smart enough to be considered for admission.
"Admission" was billed as a comedy, too bad it's not. Even when we're
introduced to Portia (Tina Fey), I still couldn't figure out what type
of comedy they were going for. There just doesn't seem to be any
inherent comedy in the university admission process. But when Portia
accidentally kisses high school director John (Paul Rudd), it finally
becomes clear that this is in fact a romantic comedy, a dramatic
The actors were definitely in their element. Tina Fey's Portia was the professionally-minded business woman who only kind of wanted it all. She wanted a promotion at work and to read poetry in bed with her British boyfriend Mark (Michael Sheen). I know what you're thinking, the perfect 30 Rock reunion. But, no. Mark is not Wesley Snipes, and their relationship isn't hilariously bad, just sad. But then Paul Rudd enters the picture incorporating the best of a country bumpkin and a privileged rich kid. He was irresistibly charming with that dimpled smile and those sparkling green eyes.
There is a plot. John introduces Portia to her son whom she put up for adoption and who now wants to attend Princeton. Portia has to figure out if she's ready to be a mother and if Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) should be accepted into Princeton. It's not a bad story, just not a particularly funny one. The characters are all good characters so they hold our interest despite the lack of substance to the movie.
The laughs are hard to come by, but if you're thinking in terms of a dramatic romantic comedy, then that shouldn't be too surprising. The lack of laughs is a detriment to the comedy this supposedly is. But as I said, the characters and actors are good. And if you really connect to Portia's predicament, then we have a nice little mid-life crisis turned coming-of-age flick. But that's going to be a small audience. The actors luckily have fans, and deservedly so, they have arguably never been better on the big screen. Depending on your love for Rudd and Fey, "Admission" is probably best left on the wait list.
For those of you who are thinking that this film is a comedy, you would be wrong. It is more of a drama with some funny moments thrown in (although I never laughed out loud; not even once). As a matter of fact, by the time the film was over I was actually feeling a little sad. The story centers on an admissions officer for Princeton University, Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) who is responsible for combing through thousands of submission requests and evaluating who should be allowed to attend this prestigious school. On top of that, the current dean of admissions is retiring and Portia and her rival Corinne (Gloria Reuben) are both up for the job. Gearing up for her annual recruiting trip, Portia is contacted by John Pressman (Paul Rudd) to come and check out his somewhat fundamental and "earthy" school. Upon arrival John tells Portia that he thinks that one of the kids in his school is actually the child that she gave up for adoption when she was in college. Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) has been a slacker most of his life, but it turns out that he is a natural genius and was just bored in school most of the time. He gets very interested in attending Princeton and so the story begins. The film started out mildly comical, but as the story went along it became more and more serious. The two characters that did add a little light-heartedness to the film were Susannah (Lily Tomlin) who is Portia's mother and an eccentric soul. She is not much into relationships of any kind whether it is a mother/daughter or a romantic relationship. The other character that I really liked was Nelson (Travaris Meeks-Spear) who is John's adopted son who is just looking to be normal and to not go gallivanting around the globe all the time with his father. I think the cast as a whole did a really good job and the story was not boring, but I think that billing it as a comedy was the wrong way to go. The story was a lot more serious than I expected it to be, so I think that as word gets out, this film may not do as well as expected. It was not a bad film, but I am not sure that it is worth the price of a ticket. I am giving this film an amber light.
I was really surprised at the review ratings for this movie.At first I
considered not watching it because of the average rating, but when
flipping through it it appeared like a movie to consider watching,
after all some ratings, for me, have been way off. I am not into really
bad slap stick comedy or bad acting, or in mediocre been done before
scripts. I began watching the movie and almost regretted it, after a
slow start, and after a few over acted comedy parts, but upon finishing
it, I was glad I stuck it out. The overly comic parts were far and few
between, and turned out to be a little of the comic relief that
balanced the emotional and some what unique script. The acting by
Tina,Ben,Paul,and Travaris was actually good (they gave Tina a bit much
of the overly comic parts, but what can you do). Overall, I was
impressed with the movie and its "differentness".
I would recommend this movie to those who aren't overly critical on every detail and aspect of a movie, to those who like sensitive movies that overcome pasts and trials and fight for people and ideals, and to those who can weigh the value of people who are not perfect or who do things perfectly, but who change and grow and fight to do better.
Admission will make any Tina Fey fan very happy. She's at her best,
displaying her very unique style of comedy so well, that you'd think
she wrote the script. Paul Rudd might not be at his greatest but he
definitively plays his role well. Wallace Shawn is excellent as the
dean of admission with just the right tone. Lily Tomlin is also very
good, as a very unique mother.
Nice humor, nice pace, good ideas, and just a little silly.
The main drawback is that at time, it feels a bit light. Some of the plot items could have been delved a little more to get a better perspective.
Overall, it's nice entertainment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Greetings again from the darkness. Though it's billed as a comedy, you
would be best prepared walking in if you expect a dramatic rom-com. The
mere presence of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd would elevate most any script
and movie. They are inherently likable and talented, and that's a lucky
thing for director Paul Weitz (About a Boy).
The movie plays like a coming-of-age flick ... not for the gaggle of high school students ... but rather for Tina Fey's character. She plays a Princeton admissions officer named Portia Nathan, and it's her job to weed through the files of thousands of over-achieving 18 year olds who are dreaming of attending the prestigious Ivy League school. Her serious approach to her work is complicated by a competition with her inner-office rival (Gloria Reuben) and by a going-nowhere relationship with Michael Sheen.
All of that sounds pretty straight-forward, so it takes a left turn when Portia makes a campus visit to the Quest School, an experimental campus run by ultimate good guy John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Pressman is the guy who rebels against his privileged childhood and bounces from world-changing missions to life-altering experiences. His current stop as an administrator for a school filled with off-beat genius kids is focused on Jeremiah (Nat Wolff). Jeremiah is an autodidact (reads everything) who was never understood by mainstream schools, but has his particular intelligence recognized at Quest.
So Paul Rudd approached Tina Fey in hopes that she will take an interest in Jeremiah's passion for learning and overlook his lack of satisfactory resume. There are also side-plots featuring a possible genetic link and a couple of strained maternal relationships from both Rudd and Fey, the latter's mom played with zeal by Lily Tomlin.
There are no real surprises here, but the movie benefits from Fey, Rudd, Tomlin and the always fun Wallace Shawn. The whole elitist college admissions process is fascinating, but really impacts only a very small segment of society. Because of that, and the limited laughs offered by the script, it's difficult to imagine the film gathering any real following.
"You may have built schools in third world countries and cleaned contaminated water from villages but you have never tried to get a kid into Princeton." Portia Nathan (Fey) is an admission counselor for Princeton who is in line for a huge promotion. Everything is going her way until she travels to a new school to check out an applicant. While there she meets John Pressman (Rudd) with some interesting news about who she has come to see. Going in I was expecting nothing but hilariousness. Tiny Fey & Paul Rudd together how can you go wrong I thought. While I do have to say that I enjoyed the movie this was not nearly as funny as I was expecting. The movie had the feel of some of the new Judd Apatow movies, lot of heart but not as laugh-out-loud funny as I was going for. I'm not saying this isn't good, it is worth watching but don't go in like I did and expect nothing but wall to wall funny. Overall, a movie that I did like but wasn't as funny as I was thinking it was going to be. I give it a B.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went to see this abomination in the theatre today and got exactly
what I expected: a predictable romantic comedy without the comedy. The
only reason I saw it is because one of my friends absolutely ADORES
Tina Fey so she HAD to see this movie. Unfortunately, I was the victim
she dragged along to witness it. There are very few, if any, redeeming
The plot is thin, boring, and worst of all predictable. Not a single thing happens that the audience couldn't have figured out beforehand. Tina Fey plays the world's worst admissions officer who is being heckled by a teacher, played by Paul Rudd, to admit one of his "prodigy" students into Princeton. Conveniently, they're both single and he's got an adopted son. I'm not spoiling anything by saying they end up in each others arms by the time the credits roll. Oh, and the kid ends up getting admitted. Amazing. Never saw that coming.
The acting isn't too awful but the dialogue is absolutely repulsive. The script mostly has characters uttering one-liners instead of giving them anything meaningful to say. As a result, we are forced to watch cardboard cutouts making unfunny jokes for 2 hours. Most of the jokes fall flat completely, inducing more groans than laughs. I can't tell you how many times I cringed while watching this garbage. Ugh.
The manner in which this movie was edited made me wonder whether the director is suffering from ADD. Random scenes are slapped together with seemingly no effort to maintain a coherent storyline. This achieves nothing but to annoy the audience.
All in all, a crummy movie. Tina Fey should definitely stick to SNL as movies are clearly not her thing.
1 out of 10 stars
No laughs thin story line. This has to Tina Fey's worst performance.
The story is thin, and there is no laughs in it. If it was called a
drama it would not be as bad, but still not a good film. Complete waste
of time and money.
A story about a woman who is obsessed with being a snob in a snob college and a live of condescension, is not funny. But even then someone could have written something funny. But no, I did not laugh once.
Some from Princeton my find it mildly amusing with Buffy and Biff, but other than that its flat as last weeks beer.
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