REVIEW: Unexpected Admission brings letdown

Photo courtesy of www.focusfeatures.com
Fey, an admissions officer for Princeton, visits Rudd's New Quest School in ADMISSION.
Photo courtesy of www.focusfeatures.com Tina Fey and Paul Rudd star as Portia Nathan and John Pressman in ADMISSION.
Photo courtesy of www.focusfeatures.comTina Fey and Paul Rudd star as Portia Nathan and John Pressman in Admission.

Spring has arrived, and for many high school seniors, it brings upon them an agonizing few months. It’s during this time that they wait and hope for a fat envelope.

A fat one, wordlessly confirming college admission, will validate the work they’ve done since elementary school; a thin envelope, implying denial, will deem it worthless.

As it’s the same scene every year – and one to which many can relate – it’s only fitting that Hollywood would make a movie about it.

In Admission, the job of sending out the coveted fat envelopes and devastatingly thin envelopes falls on Portia Nathan, played by Tina Fey. As a Princeton University admissions officer, Portia spends her days visiting high schools, recruiting promising students and wading through an endless pile of applications.

She’s good at what she does, and she’s up for promotion. To get it, she must beat out her snarky co-worker, Corrine, played by Gloria Rueben.

John Pressman, played by Paul Rudd, is the creator of the New Quest School.

He’s adamant that Portia should visit the alternative high school to speak about Princeton to his students. Pressman finally convinces her to visit, later revealing the real reason he’s pestered her: one of his pupils may share a connection with Portia.

The film has some laughs, which one should expect from Fey and Rudd, seeing that both have made careers out of making people laugh. Theirs is a more subtle form of comedy, relying on wit, not slapstick.

The film also has its moments of poignancy, however, as Portia tries to juggle work and personal issues.

I really wanted to like this film. I’ve always enjoyed Fey and Rudd in anything I’ve seen them.

Photo courtesy of www.focusfeatures.com Fey, an admissions officer for Princeton,  visits Rudd's New Quest School in ADMISSION.
Photo courtesy of www.focusfeatures.com 

Fey, an admissions officer for Princeton, visits Rudd’s New Quest School in Admission.

It’s not that it’s a bad film; it’s just that I was expecting something very different from what I got. The trailers and TV spots made it seem the film would be entirely hilarious.

As it turned out, it was more of a romantic … something – not really a drama, not really a comedy.

I wouldn’t say that it’s one of the better films I’ve seen recently. It almost felt like I was watching a slightly interesting clip of someone’s life – something I would watch if I had nothing else to do. Still, it’s not the worst thing out there.

If you’ve seen everything else, are bored and you can get Admission at a matinee price … turn on Netflix and find something else. It’s not worth the gas you’ll burn to get to the theater.

Sorry, Tina.

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