“Admission,” starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, is a fun time at the movies and a terrific vehicle for this twosome.
Directed by Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”) with screenplay by Karen Croner based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel, “Admission” takes a humorous look at the college application process and throws in some romantic complications to sweeten the plot.
Tina Fey plays Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton. Soon after we meet Portia, both her personal and professional lives go into a tailspin. First the Director of Admissions (Wallace Shawn) announces his decision to retire which means that she and her very competitive colleague (Gloria Reuben) will be vying for his job. Then her long-time relationship with a Princeton professor (Michael Sheen) ends unexpectedly, leaving her vulnerable and at loose ends. To get her mind off her romantic troubles and better position herself for a promotion, Portia throws herself into her job with many recruiting trips. During one such trip Portia renews her acquaintanceship with former classmate, John Pressman (Paul Rudd). John now runs an alternative high school and has a student, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), he wants Portia to meet. Although Jeremiah is very bright, he is very eccentric, but John believes he would make an outstanding Princeton student. He also has a secret…John believes that Jeremiah may be the son Portia gave up for adoption many years ago. Although there are immediate, but not necessarily welcome, sparks between John and Portia, thwarting a potential love connection is Portia’s own difficult relationship with her mother, Susannah (Lily Tomlin).
Tina Fey and Paul Rudd have definite chemistry (is there anyone who wouldn’t have chemistry with Rudd) and that helps kick this quiet rom-com up a notch. Lily Tomlin is also quite good as the not quite as tough as she seems feminist mother (who even has a Bella Abzug tattoo).
“Admission” boasts a terrific supporting cast who serve the move well. Much of the movie is very smart and inventive, especially the college application scenes, which are also quite funny.
“Admission” is not a thigh-slapper, but it is fun and has a lot of heart…and Paul Rudd, too.
2 ½ nuggets out of 4