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Admission - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Directing: B
Acting: B+
Writing: B-
Cinematography: B
Editing: B+

Okay, so yes. Yes this movie is really contrived. Can we just get past that right off the bat? Because, you know, we're allowed to do that. Admission, adapted by Karen Croner from a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, does not have the best screenplay in the world. It's also far from the worst. Yes, there are countless better movies playing in theaters currently, but if you're like me (which I realize you probably aren't) and have already seen all those better ones, it works fine. I mean, for a $6 matinee before noon at Pacific Place, anyway.

There's also the audience out there for this movie that is not the same audience for those other movies -- the better movies are the Oscar-bait that, let's face it, if you haven't seen them yet, just don't fall into your interests. You want a fun, pleasant movie? See Admission. You won't leave the theatre saying it's great. But neither will you have regretted seeing it.

So why might that be? Two words: Tina Fey. This woman deserves her budding film career. Yes, Date Night was better, but you can't get around Steve Carell being funnier than Paul Rudd. Fey and Carell made a great team; Fey and Rudd make a good one. The key is that Carell is hilarious and Rudd is likable; Tina Fey is both.

Okay, I can't honestly say Admission is hilarious -- but it offers some good laughs. Tina Fey and Paul Rudd get you invested in their characters. Fey plays Portia, the Princeton admissions officer of the movie's title; Rudd is John, a teacher at an environmental- and social-conscious alternative school, where he believes a particular student with a lot of potential might be Portia's biological son. When Portia begins to believe John might be right, she goes out of her way to try getting Jeremiah admitted.

This movie, with its, yes, contrived plot, would have been a lot worse with other actors. But here we are treated to the likes of Wallace Shawn as the Dean of Admissions and Lily Tomlin as Portia's militant-feminist mother. It's so much fun just to watch them, it's easy to overlook, say, the curious absence of Jeremiah's apparently perfectly fine adoptive parents for 99% of the movie. Everything that happens in this movie is for the convenience of the story concept.

Admission is a populist movie through and through; there's nothing challenging to it whatsoever. What a lot of critics lose sight of is that that is exactly what the average movie-goer is going for. Do I wish I could see Tina Fey in something better? Of course. Will you even care that Tina Fey is in this movie? Probably not. Is there any reason for you not to wait to see this until it's available on demand? Okay, probably not that either. But if you just generally love the movies and aren't too picky, sometimes "not bad" is good enough. I had a good time watching it, anyway.

Tina Fey, Nat Wolff, and Paul Rudd discuss ADMISSION.

Overall: B
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