Movie: Admission

I thought the Tina Fey/Paul Rudd movie Admission was going to be as unfunny and boring as the Tina Fey/Steve Carell disaster that was Date Night, but I was wrong.

Admission, ostensibly about a predictable Princeton admissions officer and the unpredictable teacher who wants his star pupil to be admitted to the school, is ripe for some very predictable comedy… except the movie isn’t funny. In fact, it’s not even trying to be funny. Instead, it’s the quiet story of two people who think they have their lives together, and who actually don’t. It’s also about parenthood and adoption. (Lily Tomlin is wonderful as Fey’s complicated mother.)

There are no big laughs, no over-the-top caricatures (other than Fey’s cheating boyfriend whose relationship constitutes one of the only running jokes), and no garish, embarrassing display of character change at the movie’s climax. It’s a decent film about two likable but flawed people finding love and trying to figure out parenthood.

I watched this while sick, and it was perfect — not too loud, not too challenging. There’s not a lot of chemistry between Fey and Rudd, but I didn’t mind. I bought their romance and was happy with an ending that didn’t resolve everything into Happily Ever Afters. It’s a feel-good film for when you’re feeling bad.