Admission [Blu-Ray] Paul Weitz

Admission [Blu-Ray] Paul Weitz
4
On nearly every level, Admission almost works, but it's failed by the consistently mediocre writing. Karen Croner's adaptation of Jane Hanff Korelitz's book is light on the laugh-out-loud moments it reaches for and takes a series of turns in the third act that stretches credulity tighter than a sumo wrestler's butt bandana. Once again, audiences would be better off if Tina Fey would write herself a script; Admission, while obviously a more intelligent breed of comedy (pompously so, at times), isn't much better than the disappointing Date Night. It's easy to see what lured the talent to the table in this case though: Paul Weitz can't make a movie without parental abandonment issues and literary references, and Tina Fey is fond of academic empowerment and the comedic exploration of motherhood anxiety. Therefore, the plot of Admission was like catnip to the principle talent. Fey plays Portia Nathan, a Harvard admissions officer faced with the possibility that an idiosyncratic applicant from an alternative school is the estranged son she put up for adoption, in order to focus on school and her career, all those years ago. In a subplot, Portia is competing with a catty co-worker for a promotion, but that point falls by the wayside before we're at the halfway mark. Not quite as marginalized is the involvement of amiable, charming workaholic Paul Rudd. He plays the teacher at a tech school in the sticks who introduces Portia to Jeremiah (a very capable Nat Wolff) and sets about a cinematic mating ritual of smouldering gazes and tentative flirtations with our romantically unsatisfied lead (her significant other, played by Michael Sheen, literally treats her like a dog). As a parent who tailors his social persona to compensate for a failure to listen to his offspring, John Pressman (Rudd) fits the pattern of the selfish, educated elders found in the Pressman and Nathan families. In contrast, Jeremiah's foster parents are salt-of-the-earth, working class types and he's a well-adjusted, possible genius. Ultimately, despite some genuinely funny and touching moments, as well as the hard work of a dedicated cast, Admission won't be accepted onto many essential viewing lists. Getting this sense from the lacklustre theatrical release bucks and buzz, the studio didn't bother with more than a perfunctory "Making Of," which is packed full of redundancies and generic banter, for the Blu-Ray release. (eOne)