Admission is a heartwarming yet comedic look at the insanity that is the Ivy League university admissions process. Depicting the best of the best all competing for a desk at the number one university in America, and the crazy hoops they go through, high school seniors will relate to the back bending (literally) applicants shown throughout the movie. Yet somehow, amidst all the clever jokes and light mockery of the world of Ivy League schools, director Paul Weiss (About a Boy) manages to tell an unexpected and emotional back-story about a mother looking for the son she never knew.
Tina Fey (Mean Girls, 30 Rock) plays Portia Nathan, a no-nonsense, traditional admissions officer at Princeton University. She’s up for a huge promotion, has a perfect “simple” life, and is perfectly content with stagnant, consistent life. Enter John Pressman (Paul Rudd, Dinner for Schmuchs), a “single dad, traveling the world with his kid doing good” (which of course he has screen printed on a t-shirt) and a teacher at a newly established alternative high school. He brings Princeton to his school specifically for self-proclaimed autodidactic (he teaches himself by reading books constantly) Jeremiah Balakian (Nat Wolff.) John believes Jeremiah to be the son that Portia gave up for adoption years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself going against the strict rules of Princeton admission, marking a boy with a 1.3 GPA as high-consider to the number one school in America.
While it’s no Mean Girls, this hilarious look at the ruthlessness of Ivy League parents blends together very well with a mother’s search for not only her son, but her son’s well being. I am of course a huge Tina Fey fan, and contrary to a few online reviews, didn’t feel like the film dragged. Based on the novel of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Admission is definitely a movie to at the very least wait-list.