Movie Review – Admission (2013)

Director: Paul Weitz

Stars: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Wallace Shawn, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, Lily Tomlin, Travaris Spears

Admission deals with an admissions officer at Princeton, Portia (Fey) who has lived a sedate life there for sixteen years. She gets an invitation from an old college classmate, John (Rudd), to come and give a talk at a school he founded. While there she is introduced to Jeremiah (Wolff), a prodigy who is an auto-didact and who John believes deserves a shot at higher education, despite him not coming from a privileged background. But there’s another reason why John bought Portia to his school, he believes that Jeremiah is Portia’s son. 

I’m actually impressed by Admission. I was expecting a forgettable, formulaic comedy but it’s more of a comedy-drama with a lot of heart. There are still familiar plot beats and some developments are entirely predictable, but they still work because they characters are authentic. There are also a few other surprises in store as well, and I especially liked how not everything was resolved in the usual neat little bow. 

Fey and Rudd work well together and they both had different issues that brought them closer together. I particularly enjoyed the scene where their mothers met and I wish that would have gone on longer. I also liked the critique of the admission process, although I question the accuracy of some aspects of the procedure. I also loved the little interludes with Portia’s ex. 

Some parts were genuinely funny but it’s not an out-and-out comedy. I was surprised by the depth it showed and Admission is an enjoyable film that’s well worth the time it takes to watch.

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