A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.
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.Written by
The real Dean of Admissions from Princeton, Janet Lavin Rapelye, appears in a scene with Tina Fey. See more »
When someone tells Jeremiah to tuck in his shirt he does, but it varies inconsistently between untucked and tucked-in in subsequent shots. See more »
Do you think you have a room for one more in your life?
One more what?
One more... person.
[misunderstanding that John is talking about himself]
Oh John, that's *so* sweet. But, uh, you seem like a great guy, too. And you can handle an *axe* and you have a very nice nose in your... face, but I have a long-term boyfriend. Long, long, long term. And, you know, we are happy. We're very happy. We're so... happy. It's... woah. Wow! Happy is one of those words that if you say it a lot, it loses its ...
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The title is built around a pun which is the turning point of the movie—an admission, or at least a revelation, about a long lost child. The leading woman is the wonderful Tina Fey who I wish I could say was wonderful here. She plays an admissions official at Princeton, and lots of Ivy League clichés and would-be jokes parade by.
And that's the overview—a pre-packaged kind of routine film, not very imaginative to start with and never pushed or pulled the way a comedy, or a romance—or both!—ought to be.
Fey, it seems, wants to be a serious romantic leading actress, and she's chipper and cute and she could, with a much better script, pull off a kind of sympathetic Meg Ryan type. That's at least what I smell here. Her romantic partner, the sometimes very funny Paul Rudd, is again weighted down by having little to really make funny.
I'm not sure how a director like Paul Weitz keeps getting work. He has a whole series of disappointing movies, even a hand-me-down like "The Little Fokkers," and I'm sure some have made some money, but they would have been better (and made even more money) in better hands. The proof is in all this pudding.
On the surface you might think there are funny paths to take in "Admission," and maybe even some hilarious pratfalls (Fey's mom is more happily over the top and has some moments), but it's just a mildly enjoyable fizzle all the way. You won't walk away angry, just a little flat.
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