ADMISSION Movie Review
Pairing Tina Fey with Paul Rudd sounds like a comedy no-brainer. However, instead of going for the laugh-a-minute humorfest we know these actors are capable of, Admission goes for the more downbeat approach. This is not inherently bad, but it does set fans up for disappointment.
Admission follows Portia Norton (Fey) as her life goes through a rocky transition. Her boyfriend of over 10 years, played by Michael Sheen, leaves her to start a family with a new woman. Her incredibly stable and boring life is flipped when this breakup is coupled with the potential for a big promotion that causes her to go outside her comfort zone to stand above the competition. Enter John Pressman (Rudd), “a single-dad, doing good, travelling the world.” Of course, these polar opposites attract. Throw in her wolf mom, Susannah (Lily Tomlin) and her likable boss played by Wallace Shawn for good measure, and you’ve got yourself solid cast that was sadly under utilized.
While Admission is probably not the comedy you were hoping for, what sets this apart from other “dramedies” is that this is executed with the right mix of wit and heart, striking a good balance to keep it from dragging throughout. This is a balance that similar films This is 40, The Five-Year Engagemnt, and Funny People (just to name a few), failed to hit that make them so frustrating to watch.
While the relationship between Portia and John is well handled, it is not the true focus of this story. Porsche learns to not just let him in, but to let in a special young man trying to jump through her/Princeton’s hoops to gain admission for the class of 2016. Fey completely sells her connection to this young man, Jeremiah, and viewers will find themselves invested in their journey. Plus, this admissions process, if true at all, is fascinating to get a peek behind the closed doors. The storytelling method of having these students show up in her mind is particularly effecting and makes you understand just why Portia has a hard time getting too attached.
Without giving away too much of the story, Admission is a bittersweet slice of life look into these characters. While romantic comedy dictates everything be wrapped up in a nice bow, it’s refreshing to see a film stick to what’s realistic despite it not being a happy, standard Hollywood ending.
At just under 2 hours, Admission is an enjoyable watch that’s definitely worth your time. Don’t pass on this dramedy.
Admission is in theaters nationwide starting today.