Saturday, January 11, 2014

Admission - DVD Review

Starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Michael Sheen, Lily Tomlin, Wallace Shawn, Nat Wolff, Olek Krupa, Gloria Reuben and Sonya Walger.
Directed by Paul Weitz.


Paul Rudd is not the kind of actor who can save a movie. He's pretty bland, a blank-slate harmless beta-male who might be a really great guy to hang out with in person, but on-screen, he's as crazy as a Snuggie. Making him a love interest for Tina Fey is a safe choice, but there's no spark or chemistry there. The last time I thought he had chemistry with a woman on-screen was Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.

So, Rudd distraction aside, this is more about Tina Fey, and while Fey tends to play brainy types unlucky in love, at least she's brainy. But this hinges on the Idiot Plot Device. Roger Ebert would refer to this when a movie has a plot that only keeps the movie going by having the main characters be or act like total idiots.

The device here, the hook, the first-act reveal, is that Rudd may have found Fey's son she gave up for adoption 18 years ago. She believes him. But she doesn't ask/tell/confront the kid. Takes her an hour of the movie to dance around the issue until she breaks it to him after everything else in the movie that needs to happen happens. See, she works in Admissions at Princeton, and Rudd thinks this kid would be a great student there.  Now, had Fey just tried to get to the bottom of it right away, the movie would have been 30 minutes long.  So...

And if this movie is remotely accurate as to how Ivy-League schools select their students, then screw Princeton.

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