Admission (2013)

Comedy, Drama, Romance
Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Gloria Reuben
A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.
Admission has a pair of immensely likable leads in Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, but it wastes them on a contrived (and clumsily directed) screenplay.
  • Focus Features Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 22 Mar 2013 Released:
  • 09 Jul 2013 DVD Release:
  • $18.0M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Very underrated movie, in my opinion9/10
I was really surprised at the review ratings for this movie.At first I considered not watching it because of the average rating, but when flipping through it it appeared like a movie to consider watching, after all some ratings, for me, have been way off. I am not into really bad slap stick comedy or bad acting, or in mediocre been done before scripts. I began watching the movie and almost regretted it, after a slow start, and after a few over acted comedy parts, but upon finishing it, I was glad I stuck it out. The overly comic parts were far and few between, and turned out to be a little of the comic relief that balanced the emotional and some what unique script. The acting by Tina,Ben,Paul,and Travaris was actually good (they gave Tina a bit much of the overly comic parts, but what can you do). Overall, I was impressed with the movie and its "differentness".

I would recommend this movie to those who aren't overly critical on every detail and aspect of a movie, to those who like sensitive movies that overcome pasts and trials and fight for people and ideals, and to those who can weigh the value of people who are not perfect or who do things perfectly, but who change and grow and fight to do better.
Not a Whole Lot of Laughs5/10
For those of you who are thinking that this film is a comedy, you would be wrong. It is more of a drama with some funny moments thrown in (although I never laughed out loud; not even once). As a matter of fact, by the time the film was over I was actually feeling a little sad. The story centers on an admissions officer for Princeton University, Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) who is responsible for combing through thousands of submission requests and evaluating who should be allowed to attend this prestigious school. On top of that, the current dean of admissions is retiring and Portia and her rival Corinne (Gloria Reuben) are both up for the job. Gearing up for her annual recruiting trip, Portia is contacted by John Pressman (Paul Rudd) to come and check out his somewhat fundamental and "earthy" school. Upon arrival John tells Portia that he thinks that one of the kids in his school is actually the child that she gave up for adoption when she was in college. Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) has been a slacker most of his life, but it turns out that he is a natural genius and was just bored in school most of the time. He gets very interested in attending Princeton and so the story begins. The film started out mildly comical, but as the story went along it became more and more serious. The two characters that did add a little light-heartedness to the film were Susannah (Lily Tomlin) who is Portia's mother and an eccentric soul. She is not much into relationships of any kind whether it is a mother/daughter or a romantic relationship. The other character that I really liked was Nelson (Travaris Meeks-Spear) who is John's adopted son who is just looking to be normal and to not go gallivanting around the globe all the time with his father. I think the cast as a whole did a really good job and the story was not boring, but I think that billing it as a comedy was the wrong way to go. The story was a lot more serious than I expected it to be, so I think that as word gets out, this film may not do as well as expected. It was not a bad film, but I am not sure that it is worth the price of a ticket. I am giving this film an amber light.
I admit I liked Admission.5/10
The amusing Admission is the first successful comedy of the year and a reasonable look at the admission process for an elite college--Princeton. Tina Fey as Portia and Paul Rudd as John turn in pleasant performances as an admissions executive and a progressive school teacher respectively. Rudd is amiable here and usually successful in his film career, while Fey's efforts up to now have been mediocre (Date Night, Baby Mama).

As an Alumni Admissions interviewer for over 30 years at Georgetown University, I find much of the story ringing true from the overachieving candidates nurtured by ambitious parents to the underachieving but brilliant and risky individualists. Portia must struggle with the boxed-in role of continuing the Princeton tradition (read stereotypes) or breaking away to push for a student who calls himself an "autodidact" with low grades but perfect scores on achievement tests for courses he never took.

Amid the plot's fierce applicant battle for a slot, Portia and John dance to the usual romantic formula of disliking each other to . . . Well, you know the drill. However, it's their reactions to the admission process that provide the authentic tension as he has developed students with independent minds, and she is used to the cookie-cutter candidates who lack the passion of those independents.

Director Paul Weitz knows something about family dynamics and children with his About a Boy, In Good Company, and Little Fockers among the more obvious examples. Signing up Lily Tomlin to play Portia's feminist mom was inspired; like the ubiquitous aging Alan Arkin, Tomlin should now have plenty of work.

Admission requires no small amount of sympathy for the messy business of growing up and getting ahead—Weitz navigates the vagaries of family ambition well. If the double-meaning of the title seems too precious to you, don't worry, the rest of the story is almost unambiguous.

Although Admission is mostly about applicants to an upper-tier college, it also poses the unethical means some might employ to gain entrance. Even Portia is not blameless, a touch I found in the film's favor while it deals with the unreal segment of our population smart enough to be considered for admission.
Loved this movie! Not a comedy, but highly enjoyable8/10
OK, let's get the bad stuff over. People say it's predictable. Yes and no...has enough surprises to keep you in your seat. People say it's not a comedy. Yeah, and your point? There are plenty of great movies that aren't laugh out loud funny. Lily Tomlin's character is a scream and very endearing. The comedy is subtle, so those wanting Tina Fey's SNL guffaws will be unhappy. People say it's not relevant since it deals with admissions at an elitist school. Huh? I guess Independence Day isn't relevant because we've never had invaders from outer space. The rest of the asinine comments I read here prior to seeing it aren't even worth debunking.

I really, really liked it. The interactions were believable and amusing. There were enough little off shoot subplots to keep me interested. And I'm pretty easily distracted and bored. I tend to get antsy and watch my watch if movies don't flow along at a good little clip.

It is not for young kids. They will be bored. It it not for the high action/adventure people. It is for folks who like an amusing story well told.
Likable actors attempt to overcome the lack of jokes6/10
"Admission" was billed as a comedy, too bad it's not. Even when we're introduced to Portia (Tina Fey), I still couldn't figure out what type of comedy they were going for. There just doesn't seem to be any inherent comedy in the university admission process. But when Portia accidentally kisses high school director John (Paul Rudd), it finally becomes clear that this is in fact a romantic comedy, a dramatic romantic comedy.

The actors were definitely in their element. Tina Fey's Portia was the professionally-minded business woman who only kind of wanted it all. She wanted a promotion at work and to read poetry in bed with her British boyfriend Mark (Michael Sheen). I know what you're thinking, the perfect 30 Rock reunion. But, no. Mark is not Wesley Snipes, and their relationship isn't hilariously bad, just sad. But then Paul Rudd enters the picture incorporating the best of a country bumpkin and a privileged rich kid. He was irresistibly charming with that dimpled smile and those sparkling green eyes.

There is a plot. John introduces Portia to her son whom she put up for adoption and who now wants to attend Princeton. Portia has to figure out if she's ready to be a mother and if Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) should be accepted into Princeton. It's not a bad story, just not a particularly funny one. The characters are all good characters so they hold our interest despite the lack of substance to the movie.

The laughs are hard to come by, but if you're thinking in terms of a dramatic romantic comedy, then that shouldn't be too surprising. The lack of laughs is a detriment to the comedy this supposedly is. But as I said, the characters and actors are good. And if you really connect to Portia's predicament, then we have a nice little mid-life crisis turned coming-of-age flick. But that's going to be a small audience. The actors luckily have fans, and deservedly so, they have arguably never been better on the big screen. Depending on your love for Rudd and Fey, "Admission" is probably best left on the wait list.