When you’ve got a movie starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, you’re bound to expect an excess of comedy, however, in the case of Paul Weitz’s “Admission,” the pair runs with their more “adult” characters and strike a an ideal balance between humor and honest emotion.
Fey stars as Portia Nathan, a Princeton admissions officer dedicate to the school’s lofty criteria. When the opportunity for a promotion arises, Portia’s determined to get the gig, so tries to impress her superior by expanding her yearly recruiting script to include John Pressman’s (Paul Rudd) alternative school, New Quest. That’s where she meets Jeremiah (Nat Wolff). He may not fit the Princeton mold of sky-high grades and an endless list of extracurricular activities, but Portia sees something in him that compels her to consider deviating from the school’s rigid standards.
While promoting the film’s March 22nd release, both Fey and Rudd sat down for a roundtable style interview. They discussed boarding the project, the appeal of their characters, the art of filming a cow-birthing scene and more, but the highlight might be the duo remembering the good old days, when they first came together to reenact “Sixteen Candles” for a failed VH1 show. Read all about that and more in the interview below.
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“Admission” isn’t loaded with rapid-fire laughs, but it’s because director Paul Weitz opts to give the material a chance to breathe and develops it into a more thoughtful comedy, making it more memorable than a mere fleeting attempt at earning a laugh.
Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is an all-business college admissions officer. She’s dedicated her life to plucking the brightest young minds from Princeton’s abundance of applicant folders to help uphold the university’s sky-high standards, so when her boss, Clarence (Wallace Shawn), announces he’s preparing to retire and find a replacement, Portia is hell-bent on getting the job. In an effort to outdo her competition, Portia agrees to expand her annual recruiting trip to visit an alternative school at the request of a former college classmate-turned-teacher, John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Trouble is, John doesn’t just want Portia there to gloat about Princeton’s rigorous application process; he thinks one of his students might be Portia’s son.
When a film’s got a poster featuring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, and a trailer with a cow-birthing scene, it’s easy to brand “Admission” your average commercial comedy. However, Weitz uses a far more naturalistic form of humor and a good deal of honest emotion to turn “Admission” into something relatable, amusing, and particularly charming.
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