Perhaps they were. I didn't know this was a comedy, I also didn't know that the reviews were overwhelmingly unfavourable, so I came to this movie with absolutely no preconceptions. I truly believe that the film's marketing team caused the damage by marketing this as a comedy. It's not. It's a drama with humorous moments. The story is totally original, not 'cookie cutter' as one other reviewer claims. It's also multi-layer, the characters each having their own personal battle. There are imaginative twists in the cinematography featuring some of the Princeton applicants. The ending is left slightly unresolved but that in itself is more satisfying than tying everything up in a big cheesy bow, there is, most of all, still hope.
Another reviewer mentioned the complete waste of Michael Sheen's talents. On this point, I have to agree, but the blame for that lies firmly at Michael Sheen's door and nobody else's. Maybe he had school fees to pay...
Tina Fey proves she can play more serious roles as well as comedy. Over all this was entertaining, well paced ( those who say it's boring must have fallen for the comedy label and were geared up to watch a different pace of movie, thus were doomed to disappointment), gently humorous, and original. In short, if you haven't seen it, watch it, but do so with an open mind.
GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) That s quite an admission on your part, Scott.
SCOTT: We meet Portia Nathan (Tina Fey), an admissions officer at Princeton University. Portia thinks she s in a good long-term relationship, but she s not. She thinks that a recruiting visit to the Quest School will be just an ordinary visit, but it s not. There she meets the head of the school, John Pressman (Paul Rudd), a former classmate of hers at Dartmouth College 17 years earlier.
GREG: The Quest School is not exactly what you would expect of a preparatory school. The kids are learning to run a farm as part of their residence. Pressman introduces her to Jeremiah Balakian (Nat Wolff) who is a genius and Pressman thinks is perfect for Princeton. Problem is, his transcript doesn t reflect his abilities. But wait, there s more. Jeremiah may just be the long lost son that Portia gave up for adoption 17 years ago.
SCOTT: Greg, is it my imagination or are Tina Fey movies on a steady decline? I m a big fan of hers and have enjoyed her previous work, particularly in Mean Girls. But Admission is another example of a disappointing product put out by Fey. It s not a particularly bad movie, but it s not good either. It s just there, going through the motions, devoid of any particularly surprising moments or laugh-out-loud moments. It s a shame because I truly believe that Tina Fey has massive talent.
GREG: Maybe it s my imagination, but I think Tina Fey can do no wrong. She s always brilliant and can make me laugh to tears or want to reach out and hug her. Her films always have a point to make and this is one movie that I would think you d identify with since you re an educator at a major university. Portia has to pick the most qualified students. And to get into Princeton you have to have a backstory that beats the band. It s not enough to be smart and get great grades, but you have to have come from an underprivileged social class, participated in a ton of extra curriculars, and overcome some great obstacle. There s a scene that had me laughing out loud: Portia is pouring over applications and each student appears before her (in her imagination) and acts out their backstory. It s hilarious to see the cheerleading Eskimo girl who overcame a bear attack (or some such thing). The movie really calls out how competitive and superficial the admissions process has become.
SCOTT: I think your secret crush on Tina Fey has revealed your bias, Greg. She is fun and appealing to watch, and you re right, she plays such a likeable character here. But therein lies another problem I had with Admission. Although Tina Fey has great talent, she always seems to play the same character in every movie, and it s the same character she played in 30 Rock. Fey invariably is cast as a quirky, insecure, loser-at-love who loveably navigates her way through social misunderstandings, awkward situations, and tumultuous relationships. We see this limited range with a number of actors and I don t mean to pick on Fey, because as I ve said, I m a big fan of hers. But if she s going to play the same character repeatedly, the screenwriting and directing has to excel. This movie doesn t flow particularly well and in fact has a made-for-TV-movie feel to it.
GREG: I feel wounded. You re right, I have had a crush on Tina Fey since I saw her on the cover of a local Richmond magazine that praised her appointment to SNL s writing staff. She s a University of Virginia alum after all, Scott. She s the girl next door who is amazingly talented and hilarious. In my humble opinion, Tina Fey is what you d get if Dick Van Dyke married Mary Tyler Moore and had a daughter. Sigh Still I think you re being a bit hard on her and the production staff of Admission. Portia has to make some hard decisions here and puts her reputation on the line to get her potential son into Princeton. It s a very heroic move worthy of any movie. I got what I expected from Admission which is more than I can say from many movies we ve reviewed this year. It was a light, entertaining comedy with an enchanting cast and a nice little message to take home. I give Admission 3 out of 5 Reels. Tina Fey does as you say, she delivered the same character we ve seen in previous incarnations. Which is fine with me. She plays a smart, quirky and flawed, albeit strong woman. I give her 3 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Heroes:
SCOTT: Admission is a somewhat pleasant foray into the personal life of a college admissions officer who stumbles through lost love, new love, and cross-generational turmoil. The movie will not win any awards, but if you re a Tina Fey fanatic you will find this film satisfying. The hero story rises above the mediocrity of the movie. Portia does manage to grow, take chances, and rise to the occasion in a manner befitting a hero. So while I award the movie a mere 2 Reels out of 5, I will agree with Greg that Portia deserves 3 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Heroes:
When we know something that are in are not in us when we think less about it. When what we know we have a different perspective then others when something's need to be in their native habits. When what we do know is we know what gets us in when we don't have it in us. When we know that we need to get in the good books with some people. When we make sure some people know what we are into. When we know we don't mind getting know some people in a friendly way. When we know or don't know some people are not meant to be in a relationship with. When something's we know is no means no when we our words mean everything. When we do know what we gets us into some places when its foods. When we know what gets us out of something when we do something we can't abandon and get out. When we know we are in some places when we are placed there by those whom abandon us. When we know what places people get in when its not our place but someone else place and get stuck in something's that we now have to commit. When we know and others know that some people want out when we are not into some people anymore. When we need an out, but don't know how in awkward situations. When we know and everyone else knows that something's we are in can impair our thoughts and judgement. When we don't know what to say to give people the inside tips when getting in and out is not in our minds. When we know how to get in, when we schedule a time to visit when there are temporary means of getting in. When other ways of getting in, we know all we need to do is hold some doors. When something's we don't know we put two and two together to know that maybe this person we know are related that we needed to inform. When what others don't know we leave out for now when we don't know them to well yet. When we do know that the way to get in we need a good form, when that's what we expect. When we now know we must see get in when they are our blood. When some places we don't usually get in we know when we are old and not one of them. When we do know we have it in us to nurture those whom are our own. When we know too much that we can't keep something's in, to add to know other things are close by in vicinity to add to what we know. When something's that are out we know we enjoy when it's open, alone and free. When something's we don't know we learn in the internet. When we know that if we don't perform we are out when winning is everything. When we know we can't be bias to only let others in on resources. When what we don't know we read when we get a feeling about some people up brings to know we are into some people's perspectives when we believe in them. When we know some people are good people when we see things in them that we agree in them. When what we don't know but others know is that other know us and try anything to get in. When some people we know we are smart when we know they belong on in Princeton. When we know that some people don't appreciate our tastes in décor or just about anything we have to offer. When we know something's some people are not into that most people might not be into like us to know they are not in with some crowds. When we do know that there are people that see us in, in their crowd when they like that type of people. When we don't know why some people would leave out something's and leave and go out and see the world, to know we are into some people when we see some good in them. When we know something's to know that they are not in when nothing checks out about their credentials and achievements. When we know that it's tough to get in, when we are now faced with more faces that we have to get in with when they are strict, bias, inspiring, and have stories that can influence our decision. When we know what we don't want when we get through all the ones that we need to get out before we get to the ones we want to get in. When we know we need to make others see why they need to be in to read about his life and smarts to know they are hidden gems. When we know our institution surrounds themselves with those who are into things we like, to those whom are in the institutions values and culture. When we know that some people rather be in other places to know we can now make place for those we know and believe in to get in. When we are out when we ought to know better we can't do somethings to get those in when reputation is everything in a prestigious place like this. When being in some place means we need to know that we got in legit honestly to know we are among those whom are like us that make us confident that we can do it when we come in low places. When life doesn't have its happy beginnings to know how did some people just get in and make it places that we never amounted to. When we don't know we are heading into something's when we don't look closer. When we know we are in with some people to know we lack something's we are not in to take the next steps after we are out of a job. When we know we have to do it the right way to get in with some people, but not right now when we are not let in when we are not ready.
When life is full of ins and outs that we don't know what exactly gets us in when we follow by the books and rules yet it doesn't work. But we do know is we don't cheat our way in when some places are only worthy of the deserving.
Good laughs and good cast.