What We Liked:A few laughs and solid performances
What We Disliked:Story felt dry most of the time
It would appear that director Paul Weitz is aiming for something around “heart felt comedy,” despite a solid cast, “Admission” is only an okay film.
Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton, looks forward to her boss’s retirement so she can take his position. However, her life is turned upside-down when John, an old college classmate of hers, gets back in touch with her, and insists that she visit his school. There, she meets Jeremiah, an autodidact with a 1.5 GPA, but near-perfect test scores. Jeremiah wants more than anything to go to Princeton, but there’s only so much Portia can do. However, John reveals that Jeremiah may in fact be the son she gave away as an infant, putting Portia into a predicament; it’s a conflict of interest, but how can she not fight for her own son?
Director Paul Weitz aims for “heartfelt comedy,” but despite a solid cast, Admission is only a decent film at best. Fresh off her somewhat disappointing 30 Rock finale, Tina Fey is in her comfort zone as a nerdy career woman who is uncomfortable around children, yet evaluates their merits as applicants. The most interesting scenes in Admission are when Portia imagines the prospective students are in her office making their case to get in, and fall down a trap door when she rejects their application.
There are plenty of funny moments that hit the comedic notes they’re going for, but Admissions is closer to a would-be romantic-dramedy than pure comedy. Unfortunately, the romance between Portia and John is underdeveloped, and falls flat.
The supporting cast are at times more entertaining than the leads themselves. Travaris Spears, who plays John’s adopted son Nelson, is a natural, radiating his character’s unique intelligence, and he has some of the best lines in the film.
Admission does have its moments, but they can’t carry an otherwise dull storyline. Fey and Rudd are two actors I find worth watching, but I’d recommend waiting until Admission comes out on DVD.