Flix Fix: Put 'Admission' on your waitlist
Aug. 21, 2013 at 3:21 a.m.
IF YOU LIKE
If you've already seen "Admission," then check out some of these other shows and movies with similar themes and undertones. Know of anything that would be a good addition to this list? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @carolinastrain. I'd love to check it out.
• "The Back-up Plan" (2010)
• "Orange County" (2002)
• "Meet the Fockers" (2004)
• "Date Night" (2010)
• "Knocked Up" (2007)
• "Mean Girls" (2004)
Saturday Night Live comedian Tina Fey plays Portia, a troubled Princeton University admissions officer.
At the start of "Admission," Portia's life is put together, in order and ruled by routine.
Her life begins to unravel after she receives a phone call from John Pressman (Paul Rudd), the school director of a developmental high school.
Pressman invites Portia out to his rural education center to meet one of his star students.
But here's the catch - Pressman also believes his star student is Portia's son, who she gave up for adoption when she was a student at Dartmouth College.
It takes Pressman a while to break the news to her, but after an emotional confrontation with her mother and a sudden break-up from her in-live boyfriend who has impregnated somebody else, Portia is hit with reality.
This film, like most mainstream romantic comedies, has a well-meaning storyline that left me wondering if the novel is any better.
Rudd and Fey's on-screen chemistry feels somewhat forced and wouldn't work without the canned romantic comedy soundtrack.
It's a little too "Under the Tuscan Sun" for my taste.
The Princeton admission's office is perhaps the most interesting character in the film.
As Portia goes through her bright orange admissions folders, a brush of magical realism brings the student candidates into her office, each of them showcasing their talents and charm.
Fey is adorable as usual but perhaps too sad and lifeless to enjoy in this film. Rudd is endearing but not believable. And Gloria Reuben, who plays Portia's rival at work, is hilariously cruel and competitive.
But magical realism aside, don't get in a frenzy over scheduling your first viewing of "Admission," unless you're in an "ice cream and mindless romantic comedy" kind of mood.