Admission (2013)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Admission</strong> (2013)

(On Cable TV, December 2013) While it’s refreshing to see a comedy avoid the usual formula for the genre, Admission risks audience sympathies by doing its own off-beat thing.  The unusual choices made by the script and director Paul Weitz (who’s done quite a bit better in the past) may be explained by it being an adaptation of a novel, but once it becomes clear that Admission is not going to play by the usual rules of film comedy, much of the film becomes predictable and so is the resignation that it will withhold a complete release.  Still, there is a lot to like here: the look at competitive college admission procedures may feel odd to this Canadian viewer, but it’s interesting, and the quasi-satiric look at academia is good for a few laughs.  As leads, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are at their usual most charming selves, with a remarkable supporting turn by Lily Tomlin.  It’s amiable enough, and the film does try hard to be something more than a generic romantic comedy.  Still, there’s a sense of missed opportunities, of watered-down comedy and intentional misdirection here that makes it hard to wholeheartedly endorse.  Admission will certainly do as a good-enough film, but there are certainly funnier, more heartfelt choices out there.

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