Admission

Admission

What if Tina Fey and Paul Rudd finally starred in a movie together – as romantic foils, no less – and it somehow managed to be just barely charming or funny or sweet or real? Too bad, that movie now exists and it’s Paul Weitz‘s Admission. Based on Jean Hanff Korelitz‘s novel of the same name, Admission features Fey as Portia Nathan, a go-getter of the highest order, a Princeton admissions officer who relishes her work (which she is, it must be noted, quite good at), while ignoring a number of hiccups in her personal life. When Portia finds out she’s up for a promotion (against her co-worker Corinne, amusingly and sharply played by Gloria Reuben), it makes the news that her dirtbag boyfriend (Michael Sheen, at his caddish best) has left her for a pregnant Virginia Woolf scholar go down just a bit more smoothly. But how can Portia make her work really stand out in the eyes of her boss (played, of course, by Wallace Shawn)? What can Portia offer that Corinne can’t? Well, Paul Rudd. Sort of. A former college acquaintance of Portia, Rudd’s John Pressman has recently started his own offbeat alternative school and he’s got one hell of a candidate for Princeton. Nat Wolff‘s Jeremiah is a charmer with a wealth of unique talents, a hunger for learning, and an adorable sprit. Oh, and Portia? He might be that kid that you gave up back in college. That you haven’t thought about for years. That you’ve never once mentioned wanting to see. And John knows it.

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Admission Trailer

How could a modern woman possibly handle becoming a mother when it already takes all of your focus to reach your goals in the professional world? It’s a question that’s been one of the major preoccupations of Tina Fey’s work as an actress, and while there are no easy answers to it, watching Fey struggle is usually fertile grounds for comedy. It will always be true that taking someone who’s generally bumbling and self-centered and forcing a kid upon them—while traumatic for the child—is hilarious for the casual observer. But, by the looks of its new trailer, it seems like Fey’s new starring vehicle, Admission, might be treading on familiar ground one time too many. The deal here is that Fey’s character gave up a kid when she was in college, and now that said kid is teenaged and attending a hippie school run by Paul Rudd, Rudd has taken it upon himself to reunite mother and son. While Fey is generally incredulous about the idea at first, eventually she finds herself becoming attached to her long lost progeny…and she might even be developing some feelings for that charming and handsome guy who brought them back together.

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Way back in January of 2011, we wrote up the possibility of Tina Fey taking on Admission – an adaptation of a novel with middling reviews about an Ivy League admissions officer who is shaken out of her rut when she runs into an old schoolmate and meets a young genius. Obviously development was slow-going, but the LA Times is announcing that the film is attempting to shoot this May after Fey concludes her work on 30 Rock. Plus, director Paul Weitz is looking to cast Paul Rudd as the co-lead. That’s a hell of a combination. In fact, it’s the kind of combination that all but ensures that the better parts of the book will be plucked out for use while the lesser parts will be blurred over by improvisation. The script itself comes from Karen Croner (who wrote One True Thing, a movie that earned Meryl Streep one of her many Oscar nominations). All in all, it sounds like a winning team behind an average concept, but it’s just exciting to see it close to getting off the ground.

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Tina Fey has had some shitty luck with movies. Her writing/acting turn in Mean Girls aside, she has been in some thoroughly average movies that almost refused to utilize her unique style as a comedian. That may or may not be the case with the next film the 30 Rock star is in talks for. Admission is an adaptation of the novel of the same name which focuses on a Princeton admissions officer who tells of all the quirky, funny idiosyncrasies of the gatekeepers making sure you don’t get in. This money quote from the less than stellar review of the book from the Wall Street Journal: “‘Admission’ is a worthy attempt to capture the absurdities of the admissions process in fictional form, but it includes too many wooden monologues explaining in detail how that process works. It is also an improbable love story that relies on coincidences of daytime-soap proportions to push its storyline forward.” Can’t Tina Fey just write something for herself?

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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