Star Rating:


Director: Paul Weitz

Actors: Lily Tomlin, Nat Wolff, Tina Fey, Wallace Shawn

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Drama, Factual

Running time: 107 minutes minutes

Tina Fey plays a workaholic admissions officer vying with Gloria Ruebens for Wallace Shawn's job as Princeton’s Dean of Admissions. It’s her responsibility to read all the transcripts from hopeful candidates and present them to Shawn as students worthy of the prestigious college, so when Paul Rudd urges her to take a look at oddball teen Nat Wolff, a troubled kid who may be a genius, she reckons she has enough on her plate. But Rudd is up to something else, barrelling his way into her office to claim that Wolff is actually Fey’s son, whom she gave up for adoption many years ago.

Eh? Didn't see that coming? Admission at this point was a fluffy, inoffensive romantic comedy, even though there aren't nearly enough romantic scenes or laughs; Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are their usual charming selves but nothing they say or do is actually funny. And that’s because Admission is really a drama sold as a romantic comedy. And there's a reason you didn't see Rudd's revelation coming - it’s just one in a series of ‘that would never happen’ moments that pop up here. Just wait for the toothbrush scene.

It’s inadvisable to convert movie from 2D to 3D but turning a drama into a full-on rom-com as an afterthought should be illegal. Director Paul Weitz, who is on board to juggle humour and drama like he did in About A Boy, attempts to superimpose a rom-com tone but it looks like bullying. Admission veers from the genre’s expected fumblings - Rudd's wooing, Michael Sheen's idiot ex-boyfriend, Rueben's bitchy work rival - but it keeps getting tugged by the ear to deal with some serious stuff, like Lily Tomlin’s mastectomy, Rudd’s worries that he’s screwing up his son’s life, and of course Fey’s genuine fear of motherhood. All are dealt with sans humour because Weitz wants us to take them seriously, which doesn't leave a lot of room for the fun and games.

There some likeable elements - Tina Fey, Paul Rudd’s head, and the acknowledgement that the American college admission system is one of the worst things in the world - but Admission is one movie you can reject.