Admission Movie Review
The high-paced world of university admission offices is explored in Admission, which succeeds primarily in showing how there is nothing high-paced or particularly interesting about university admission offices. The inspired pairing of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd offered promise, but the end result is a harmless but shrugworthy effort.
In Admission, Tina Fey plays uptight Princeton admissions director Portia Nathan, who is in a loveless relationship. Eyeing a promotion, she reluctantly agrees to meet with the head of an experimental high school (Rudd). An unlikely relationship forms as Portia's structured world slowly devolves.
Fey and Rudd are two of the funniest actors working today, but Admission, which is written by Karen Croner - whose last movie was 1998's One True Thing - and directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy, American Pie), lacks the expected energy and wit. Both Fey and Rudd are fine, but are limited by the bland source material.
Admission shows sparks of life, but the filmmakers fail to take advantage of the story's potential. The students at the experimental high school could have been a strong source of comedic inspiration, but most of them only appear in one scene. The movie could have taken a darker turn - a la Election - but Portia's transgressions in the third act are less than memorable.
And "less than memorable" describes the movie quite well. Admission isn't a terrible movie; it just isn't particularly memorable, or fun, or funny, or entertaining. If university admission offices are an interesting place to work, Admission doesn't do the career justice. Nor does it do the audience any favors.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.