One of the good things about borrowing movies from the library is that there is a sense of being able to browse and borrow riskfree. Admission is one of those movies that I would never have rented from a Redbox or Netflix. I am glad I borrowed and screened this film, it is a decent film that is harmless and sweet.
Admission follows Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) who is an admissions officer with Princeton. She’s been an admissions officer with Princeton for 16 years and lives a pretty boring life – and wait for it – until she gets a call from John Pressman (Paul Rudd) who is the head of a new school. John is calling to ask if Portia can come to the school and do a presentation for the students to get them intersted in Princeton. The movie shifts gears after the meeting and the focus becomes about getting a kid from John’s school, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) into Princeton – the driving force is a because of family, which is explained in the film. There is also a love story in there between Portia and John.
The film works mainly because of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, who are both great in the film. Paul Rudd seems like he can’t do any wrong in a movie by just being Paul Rudd. There are some really funny bits in the film – some that made me laugh out loud. But, the film was not as funny as I thought it would be, especially since it stars Fey and Rudd.
The editing of the film was very distracting. The editor (Joan Sobel) seems to cut in a manner where dialogue between two characters uses very quick cuts that is jarring. These quick cuts really made watching dialogue between two characters difficult. The ending of the film was very disappointing and I will write about why in the spoilers section. But, outside of these two things, this film was a decent watch. Something that would be good to watch if it showed up on cable or if found at the local library to borrow. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see the film though.
The ending of the film was quite disappointing for me. The film ends with Portia swapping files for Jeremiah and basically cheating to get him into Princeton because she thought he was her son. This playing loose with the morality of the film really spoils an otherwise fun film. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth because of what the Fey character did and made me like her less because of what she did.
This ending also made me quite disappointed at the screenwriter (Karen Croner) and director (Paul Weitz) for not taking the risk of having Jeremiah not be able to get into Princeton. I mean, the kid seemed genuinely smart and I am sure he would have made it into another university without someone cheating behind his back to get him into Princeton. The writers and director seemed to be afraid to go down this more realistic road. I don’t see anything wrong with the Jeremiah character not going to Princeton, hell I think it would have made the film even more likeable.