Movies that are forgettable are almost worse than plain bad movies. Hours after you view it, it seems to drift out of your mind. You struggle to recall what the movie was about or even why it existed. At least with a good bad-movie, there are specific points in which you say, “Wow, this is bad”. Forgettable movies are like a lame dream: once you wake up, you can hardly recall anything and those memories soon fade.
Admission is one of these forgettable movies. Directed by Paul Weitz, Admission is a supposed comedy, but there are hardly any signs that point towards that. It hardly even merits as a rom-com.
Portia (Tina Fey) is an admissions officer at the very prestigious college, Princeton. Out of the thousands and thousands of applications they get each year, they only accept about 1000 applicants. The potential students fear her, as their educational hope relies on her judgment. She lives a very plain and straightforward life, coming home to a boyfriend of many years. Any sense of light in her life is slowly dimming.
She meets John (Paul Rudd), who is a teacher at Quest high school, which is a rather unorthodox facility, teaching kids to give back to the world, specializing in “third world development” classes. He travels the world himself, and ended up adopting a kid while in Uganda. John is a kind person always willing to give back to the world and teaching that to his students and his son.
John is trying to reach out to Portia and get her to consider a bright kid interested in applying, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff). Shortly after introducing him to her, his motives become clearer. John suspects Jeremiah is Portia’s child that she gave up for adoption some time ago.
Portia is not fit to be a mother, and she struggles with kids and families in the most awkward of ways. The very thought of having kids is frightening to her. After an unfortunate turn of events, her boyfriend leaving her for someone else, Portia starts taking more interest in Jeremiah. Trying to be a motherly figure to her. She finds hints of herself in the boy, and tries to fight to get him in to Princeton.
The story of Admission is quite bland, never taking an exciting, or even, a funny route. It stays very grounded and becomes predictable.
Paul Rudd and Tina Fey together makes for a very boring outing. Rudd is fairly okay when it comes to rom-coms, but thrives when there’s bromance in the air. He gives such a bland performance, as if he wasn’t even trying. As for Tina Fey, I can’t think of many flicks where I enjoy her. I never got into her on SNL, and I can’t recall any good performances from any other movie she’s been in (with the exception of my guilty pleasure, Mean Girls. I credit her for her writing work with that one).
The two together doesn’t really bring any sort of chemistry or romance. At certain points they just start making out, but you don’t really have a grasp of why. Sure, Rudd’s character is a sweet and considerate gentleman who is always nice and Fey is just neurotic and awkward that, on paper, it kind of works, but on screen, it just doesn’t. Any sort of romance between the two characters feels forced.
Nat Wolff plays Jeremiah who is the weird “boy genius” who is Portia’s supposed son. He doesn’t portray much emotion besides an awkward and upbeat drive. Even when things turn upside down, he expresses himself so passively: “Hmm, well that’s weird. I’m not sure what to think”. It gets frustrating when he’s the center of all this fuss, and his character doesn’t react in any sort of way.
The comedy of Admission is practically non-existent. With the exception of a few Rudd-isms, the script is very bland, relying a lot on Tina Fey’s awkwardness to bring a lot of laughs, which in reality were just awkward than funny.
Admission is such a bore of a movie; I wouldn’t say it’s worthy of your time. I didn’t feel like I got much out of it. Quite honestly, I have forgotten most of it by now. It wasn’t that it was a bad movie; it’s just that there is hardly anything there to make it a good movie, nor bad movie. It’s just there; Its neutral. You might be better off just watching TV.
Admission – 5/10