Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Denied, Denied, Denied

Admission       Final Cut Score: 65%


It's a premise profuse with promise: A comical look inside the clandestine world of college admissions at one of the most prestigious academic institutions on the planet.

Tack on a charming, über-likable cast: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Michael Sheen and a newly-refaced Lily Tomlin – there's no way Admission could misfire. An impossibility. Straight comedic gold.

Wrong.

Admission doesn't just misfire, it flatlines.

Set within the walls of Princeton's pristine, snootacular campus, Fey is one of the university's army of admissions officers, keeping its Ivy League gates closed to all but the most obnoxiously-overachieving 17-year-olds.

Enter Rudd, the headmaster of an alternative school in rural New Hampshire, which happens to have a crazy gifted - if underachieving - autodidact (Nat Wolff), who may or may not be Fey's given-up-for-adoption kid.

If the tale were contained simply to the admission process, it may have been tolerable but with the mother/son angle throwing the tone out of whack, Admission sits and spins a web of tedium. It's awkwardly unfunny across the board.

I'm so over Fey's wilting-flower routine, the former SNLer needs to seek out a project that allows her to snark it up Golden Globes style rather than one that has her getting patted on the head like a puppy by her scholarly snot of a boyfriend (Sheen).

Oh yeah, one note for the screenplay's scribe, Karen Croner (and Jean Hanff Korelitz, the author of the novel from which this dreck is adapted): The drive from Keene, New Hampshire to Princeton, New Jersey is roughly five hours – without traffic. Fey goes back and forth as if it were a 20-minute trip.

If only Admission were that breezy a jaunt.