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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"Admission"

Comedy, Romance. Rated PG-13. 1 hours, 57 minutes.

Photo by Focus Features

Tina Fey and Lily Tomlin in Focus Features' "Admission" - 2013

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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Tina Fey stars as Portia Nathan, a Princeton admissions officer, who is in the running for a major promotion. The film opens with a scene of her giving a recruiting talk to a group of high school students. She tells them, “I bet you are wondering…what is the secret to getting in?” Then, she answers, “Just be yourself.”

"Admission" also features Paul Rudd, who plays a teacher at an alternative school named John Pressman. Detroit’s own Lily Tomlin, who attended Wayne State University, stars as Portia’s mother, Susannah. Even though Tomlin is best known for her comedic roles (“Laugh-in”), she played more of a dramatic role in this film.

Throughout the movie, we saw how difficult it was to be an admissions officer. Portia made dozens of high school visits in an attempt to try and sell Princeton. She passed out brochures about the Ivy League university, which is located in New Jersey. In addition, we saw her burning the midnight oil several times as she was going through college applications.

Wallace Shawn plays the role of Clarence, Princeton’s Dean of Admissions. He announced that the university’s ranking on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges dropped from No. 1 to No. 2. Clarence instructed all of his admissions officers to work really hard to get more applicants so they can get the top spot next year. In addition, the dean said he would retire at the end of this year so he wanted to promote either Portia or Corinne (played by Gloria Reuben).

Later in the movie, Pressman gave Portia a call and invited her to make a recruiting visit to his school. So Portia showed up thinking it was a regular high school. However, she learned it was anything but. She sees students milking cows and cleaning the stables. Portia saw students skipping class. When she gave her presentation, no one was interested in Princeton. Actually, the kids were making fun of it for being a “rich, preppy school.”

One student raised his hand and said he wanted to learn more about Princeton--his name was Jeremiah (played by Nat Wolff). Pressman described Jeremiah as a gifted, unconventional student. Jeremiah got mostly D’s in all of his classes, but he passed the AP exams and ACT/SAT tests with flying colors. No one could understand how this was possible, without cheating.

Pressman called Portia numerous times to try and convince her to approve or “accept” Jeremiah’s application to Princeton. She told him he would have to go through the normal process and couldn’t do anything special for him. Portia said that Jeremiah should put a better resume together and send her his transcripts.

Pressman and Portia started hanging out together. At one point, he opened up and told Portia that Jeremiah might be her son. She was very upset about this possibility. Pressman showed her the birth certificate, which indicated that Jeremiah was born on Valentine’s Day at 11 a.m. She tells Pressman to leave and he refuses. So then we see her mother Susannah (Tomlin) firing a shotgun in an attempt to force him to leave.

The question you’ll be able to answer at the end of the movie is…Will Jeremiah ever get in to Princeton? If so, at what cost? Also, who gets that big promotion? I’m not going to reveal that information now. You’ll have to go see the movie for yourself to find out.

Paul Weitz directed this film. He is best known for directing “Little Fockers,” “In Good Company” and “American Pie.” This movie is rated PG-13 for language and some sexual material. Scenes were shot on location at Princeton University and in Bronxville, N.Y.

By looking at the cast: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd and Lily Tomlin, you are probably thinking, wow it has to be a hilarious movie. However, I only laughed a few times. I think “Admission” is more of a dramatic film than it is a comedic one. I was a little disappointed about that. There needed to be more jokes. I would recommend everyone to save their money and see it at the second-run theaters or wait for it to come out on DVD and rent it from Redbox.

Look for "Admission" in theaters nationwide right now.

OVERALL RATING: B-

 

Watch the Official Movie Trailer

 

 

Graphic by Focus Features

"Admission" movie poster

 

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