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Admission is, Admission is worth the admission

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

The time is fast approaching when I will probably need to be put down or abandoned at the dog track. Not me personally per se, although every time I sneeze these days my kids ask if I want them to call Kevorkian.
However, I’m not sure I’m not sliding into some kind of touchy-feely morass where good acting, directing and casting accompanied by a strong story make for a great film. I just seem to be too happy, too satisfied with the state of the industry.
I’m enjoying my job too much.
I want to be crabby old man Peterson, the guy who doesn’t like anything.
Alas, it was not to be on this day in destiny because Admission is a great little comedy.
I always try to read a couple of my brothers from other mothers reviews or sisters from other misters.
Ok, I’m looking. Plagiarize. Let’s just call it for what it is. Then  I read the other reviewers and wonder if they saw the same film.
Our story so far. Tina Fey plays Portia Nathan, a smugly dis-satistifed admissions officer at Princeton, that ivory towered testimonial to complacency and status quo. Portias’ world is about to get turned upside down when her husband leaves her for a much younger pregnant student.
Portia has no children and the barren bliss of their home seems to have been a whole lot less than what Mark was hoping for. The new girl is expecting twins.
Portia seems to love her job still even if her personal world is upside down and she is looking to lock down a huge promotion which takes her a little outside of her comfort zone into the alternative school her old college buddy John Pressman runs (played by new favorite everyman Paul Rudd.)
His alternative students are so far from the overachieving suck-ups she’s used to that it really does cause her to see a little bit beyond the pale.
Oh did I mention that Pressman thinks his new wunderkind is also the son she gave up for adoption years ago? His protege, who does poorly in almost all his courses, tests through the roof for aptitude and labels himself an autodidact, is played admirably by relative newcomer Nat Wolff. I say relative newcomer because he’s been in a few movies that mostly no one has ever heard of except New Year’s Eve which was terrible and his role was tiny. He’s good. I’m really liking the odd and quirky these days so it has a nice touch to it.

It’s based on a book by Jean Hanff Korelitz and adapted for the screen by Karen Croner who deserves some recognition for adapting Nora Ephron’s One True Thing. One True Thing is a little masterpiece that most people missed during its theatrical run and is well worth a rental. Meryl Streep and William Hurt star.
But I digress.
Imagine the shenanigans that can happen when a jilted admissions officer reunites with her very attractive free-thinking college buddy who also happens to seem to have a pipeline to a missing piece of her.  Ok, so in that sense it does tend to lapse into the conventional but the dialogue is great and there’s a lot going on between the conventions to hold my interest and that’s not easy these days.

There’s a fun story going on as we see these people go to ridiculous lengths to get their kids admitted to Princeton.
Portia’s superficial response to all of these people quickly gives way to some real moments with the alternative kids and it’s a nice progression. We want to believe somewhere deep down she cares.
Without spoiling the story, there’s enough here to sink your teeth into and I like all of these characters, at least the leads.
Its funny, it’s warm and has enough plot twists to make guessing the ending right make us all feel smart and smug about ourselves.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Either way, Admission is a nice movie and while I’ll probably have to go watch Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant to get back my sense of contempt and disdain for humanity, for the moment I feel good about  Admission. It’s certainly worth the price of …
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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