Forced acting makes “Admission” forgetful

Director of “American Pie” and “In Good Company”, Paul Weitz’s latest movie “Admission” wasn’t exactly a box office hit. The movie can be described as a romantic comedy that was somewhat entertaining, yet there was nothing about the film that made it really stand out. So much so that I could not even remember the names of the main characters upon leaving the theater.

The film follows the mundane life of Princeton admissions officer Portia Nathan, played by Tina Fey, whose job decides the fates of thousands of university hopefuls.

Her life suddenly changes when she meets the gifted and intelligent student of local teacher John Pressman, played by Paul Rudd. When she finds out that the student is really her son Jerimiah, played by Nat Woolff, whom she gave up for adoption, Nathan must deal with being a mother to a son whom she barely knows and a budding romance with Pressman.

Despite having a cast with famous comedic actors such as Rudd and Fey, the humor throughout the movie was very dry and hardly ever resulted in much laughter.

It seemed as if the script, written by Karen Croner who hasn’t worked on a hit movie since the 1990s, focused too much on the drama with Nathan trying to reconnect with her son for an emotional undertone, and thus the comedy aspect of the movie really suffered. There needed to be a better balance between the two elements to make it a more well-rounded as a romantic-comedy.

The idea of Nathan finding her long-lost son was an interesting take for the storyline that was engaging to watch.

However, it felt like Weitz was trying too hard to hit the audience with an emotional impact through the storyline. When, in actuality, the audience won’t really know what to feel at the end of the movie besides a simple satisfaction and nothing more.
As for the relationships between the characters, especially between Rudd and Fey, their interactions felt forced and not really smooth at all, which disrupted the flow of the movie. Any romantic scenes between the two main actors were placed in random spots that made it awkward to watch. For example, whenever they started kissing it catches the viewers off guard because there was no romantic build-up before. It was more like the actors were saying their lines and then the director yelled at them to kiss at that one moment. The result was an unnatural flow of scenes.

While there is definitely closure with all of the characters by the end of the movie; the ending felt too rushed as if the director just wanted to ensure he tied up all loose ends rather than making it a natural part of the movie. The result was a film that was disingenuine and less captivating than it should have been.

Overall, Admission is not a bad movie, it’s just forgettable. Bland characters, an imbalance between the romance and the comedy, and a rushed conclusion leaves this movie with an average rating of 3 out of 5 paws.

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