Ah, Admission. I wanted to like this movie. I really did. As a card-carrying member of both the Tina Fey and Paul Rudd Fan Clubs, I have enjoyed so much of their work, particularly Tina Fey’s 30 Rock. While there were elements of the movie that I certainly enjoyed, it saddens me to say that it missed the mark a bit overall.
The movie focuses on the character of Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) as an admissions officer at Princeton, one of the most prestigious universities in the country where students fight tooth and nail to get in. During her yearly rounds to high schools in the northeast where she encourages students to apply to Princeton, she ends up visiting New Quest, a hippie dippie high school run by John Pressman (Paul Rudd). After touring the school briefly, we meet Jeremiah, a brilliant-minded senior at the school. However, prior to his senior year, he attended a typical high school where he barely passed any of his classes, and chose to self-educate himself instead by reading any book he could get his hands on. His transcripts didn’t look good, but something in him (which I’ll let you discover for yourself) piqued Portia’s interest and she found herself fighting to get him into Princeton.
During all of this, of course, Portia and John begin to fall for each other. We’re also introduced to Nelson, John’s young, adopted kid who acts almost like an adult, and Susannah (Lily Tomlin), Portia’s feisty and fiercely independent mother.
The characters are by far the best and most interesting elements of this movie. They feel realistic and complex, particularly at the end when everything seems to unravel. However, I wish they had allowed a few of the relationships to develop a bit more on-screen, particularly between Portia and John. There are a few scenes where we see them getting to know each other, but there needed to be more.
At times, the plot of the movie was very slow moving and seemed to go nowhere. Although this sometimes allowed for us to get to know the characters a bit better, it also didn’t have me dying to know what was going to happen next. All in all, there were some cute scenes in this movie, some well-written characters and several funny lines. This is a Tina Fey movie after all!
Admission is in theaters nationwide.