Movie review: Admission

By Diana Eales |

Though classified as a comedy, Admission did more than just give my abs a work out. It also made a lump in my throat appear and caused some serious empathy to surface.

Portia (Tina Fey) is someone who has been on the ball all her entire life. And now, life has bowled her over. An admissions officer at Princeton University, Portia is presented with the opportunity to take over her boss’s (Walter Shawn) position as Head of Admissions. Then, she is introduced to a young man who might be her birth son and a subsequent dilemma. In the midst of all this, Portia reconnects with high school acquaintance John Pressman (Paul Rudd) who just makes things complicated. Over the course of the film, we see her perfectly put-together life lose its luster.

What made this quirky film so great was its ability to draw me in. This was not an ordinary story. Sure, the romance was somewhat predictable, but the plot was novel. It focused on human relationships that dealt with feelings everyone can relate to: heartbreak, sexual frustration, childhood baggage and the balance between personal and professional ambition. Oh, and the stress of applying to colleges.

Both Fey and Rudd did an excellent job to humanize what was happening and did not make the movie appear as another Hollywood film with a blockbuster mentality. Unanticipated twists to the storyline and more realistic emotive portrayals were a breath of fresh air that made it more relatable than most rom-coms out there.

I was pleased that the story was not ruined or interrupted by oddly placed sexual content or language fishing for ratings. Though some of this language was present, it was minimal and appropriately placed. I commend director Paul Weitz and screenplay writer Karen Croner for this thoughtful usage. Though the subject matter made for more of a mature film, it still met my family-friendly expectations.

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