In the new adult oriented comedy Admission, we have Tina Fey as Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton University whose life is thrown into disarray when she meets the head of a new alternative school played by Paul Rudd. For those of you who see the names above the title and think that this will be an Apatow-style goofball comedy where the grown-ups are in a perpetual state of arrested development, be forewarned that this is not what Admission is. There are plenty of laughs, but the characters are grounded and real and the issues in this movie deal with family, career and personal identity.
I really enjoyed this movie because I found all of the characters relatable and inherently likeable, while the humor was smart and nimble. This was Fey’s finest performance as an actress, in my opinion and Rudd’s portrayal of John Pressman was as layered as anything he has done in a while. They aren’t afraid to play scenes with real emotion when it is necessary, but don’t bludgeon you over the head with it. The supporting cast was also a strength of this film with good turns by veterans like Wallace Shawn and Lily Tomlin as well as from newcomers Nat Wolff and Travaris Spears. Director Paul Weitz has once again managed to produce a movie that is both funny and feeling, like he did previously with About a Boy and In Good Company. I give Admission a B+.
I was pleasantly surprised by Admission, I had expected a more goof-ball comedy, but instead I got an excellent grown-up comedy. It had me laughing again and again with a good mixture of both humor and heart. The secondary cast was strong and Lily Tomlin was fierce as the uber-feminist mother of Portia. I especially loved the effortless chemistry between Paul Rudd and Tina Fey and I hope that they decide to work together in the future again.
As much as I enjoyed the movie, I could have done without the secondary story line of Portia's ex-boyfriend and his new woman. Each scene with them felt as though it was created to humiliate Portia and was unnecessary given the tone of the rest of the movie. I agree with Scott and give it a B+.