Tina Fey is one of those actresses who knows how to write funny. She has a gift that doesn’t go unnoticed. What makes her even more impressive is that her knack for delivering the funny that she writes makes it all the more…funny. Paul Rudd is one of those charming actors who doesn’t have the fan base he deserves. He drips everyman charm in a way that someone like George Clooney could only dream of. Instead of appearing manufactured, he just is. On top of that charm (awkward charm even) is a sense of humor that carries his performances to another level entirely. He’s hilarious.
When ‘Admission’ was released earlier this year, I was stoked. I love both Fey and Rudd and the idea of them working together in a dramedy seemed very appropriate and ripe with potential.
Sadly, every ounce of that potential is squandered.
The problem with ‘Admission’ is that the film is just so dull. It never really goes much of anywhere, and the charm is lost in characters and situations that feel stale on contact. The basic plot follows a Princeton admissions officer who has her mundane life flipped upside down when she is accosted by the head of a new ‘alternative school’ who feels that one of his students is her long lost son (the one she gave up for adoption that no one knows about). She is threatened by this, and he is relentless, and soon she is roped into this game of ethics as she tries to cheat her own system in order to get this kid acceptance into Princeton.
|He looks so...bored.|
I don’t think that ‘Admission’ knows what kind of film it wants to be. I suppose it is trying to be a dramedy in the vein of ‘The Family Stone’ except it never understands how to handle its more serious issues in a way that feel relatable or even interesting. Instead, it plods along at a depressed pace with performances that lack spark (everyone feels so sad) and then you have Lily Tomlin in an embarrassingly clichéd return to the screen. It also happens to be one of those films that tries too hard to produce a ‘twist’, to the point where the ending feels even more contrived than it would have had they gone the expected ‘sentimental’ route.
I wonder why it is that films like this exist, because it’s not good enough or bad enough to be remembered. It’s just so bland and uninspired that it is easily forgotten and pretty much worthless.
It’s not even fun to make fun of, because there is nothing here to talk about.
I give this an F. I mean, how can you not. There is just nothing here. Awards are out of the question. The Globes won't even bite at this.