Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Saturday, March 23, 2013



Let Someone In

8.5 out of 10 | DVD or Rental

Rated: PG-13 Language and sexual material
Release Date: March 22, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes

Director: Paul Weitz
Writers:  Karen Croner based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Cast: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn, Gloria Reuben, Lily Tomlin, Olek Krupa, Travaris Spears

SYNOPSIS:  A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.

REVIEW: Little Fockers and Being Flynn director Paul Weitz goes experience the college life with Tina Fey (Megamind) and Paul Rudd (This Is 40) in a serious, slightly romantic comedy focused squarely on Reed Hall Admissions building on the Princeton campus. Written for the screen by One True Thing writer Karen Croner based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, an admissions officer's ordinary life is turned upside down when she finds out that a young man might be the son she gave up for adoption years ago.

Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) lives a structured ordinary live as an admissions officer in Reed Hall of Princeton University. She doles out judgement for the thousands of yearly applicants (and parents) who prepare their entire adolescent lives to pursue a coveted spot as an accepted incoming freshman to the university. She is organized and focused, looking to take over the Dean of Admissions position when Clarence (Wallace Shawn, The Princess Bride) retires. Portia is in competition with another admissions officer, Corinne (Gloria Reuben, Lincoln) who is also looking to find her way into the Dean of Admissions office. Looking to prove that she is right for the job, Portia takes an invitation from teacher John Pressman from an alternative development school named Quest. When she arrives with her rehearsed speech of 'how to get into Princeston', John admits that he invited her to the school in order to meet a unique young man Jeremiah (Nat Wolff, New Year's Eve) who may be the boy Portia gave up for adoption years earlier. He also tells her that Jeremiah is a brilliant young mind who wants to go to Princeton. Trying not to break admissions protocol, Portia tries to help Jeremiah and John through the admissions process while trying to resolve whether to tell Jeremiah that she is his mother.

Tina Fey, making a more concerted effort to move from the small screen to the big screen, follows in her Date Night co-star Steve Carell's footsteps by ending a run on a popular NBC comedy in order to focus more on feature films. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Fey was still anchored to her creation 30 Rock, keeping her from fully immersing herself in silver screen projects. Plus, she loves her place on Fire Island! Even with occasional cameos on SNL, Tina Fey is now on track to use her talents and acting gifts for the cinematic masses. A huge fan of Fey, I love her subtle mastery in her blending both comedy and drama. Unlike other comedy actresses Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, who are more physical and whimsical in their craft, respectively, Fey brings with her a more down to earth, calculating and clever wit to her performances.

Admission is not an uproarious romantic comedy. The trailers try to market it as such because of the marquee names on the poster with Fey and Rudd. Those looking to cry their eyes out with pratfalls and hilarious hi-jinks will be disappointed. That reaction should be blamed on the marketing. As with many genre comedies like Dan in Real Life and Little Miss Sunshine, Admission is touted as a full-on comedy. I am sure there are reports that would tell me that marketing this film as more dramatic would have disastrous, but Admission is a fine nuanced heart-felt tale with dramatic pinnings and comedic highlights - and could have been highlighted as such.

The story is the nucleus of what makes Admission a good film, but the performances are the protons and electrons that keep the movie in motion. Fey shows more range in this film, from her support of a bovine giving birth to her passionate plea to the admissions board as to why Jeremiah should be considered for the offer of enrollment. Paul Rudd, fresh off the not-as-funny-as-Knocked Up sequel, redeems himself as the teacher with a perchance for a nomadic life helping the less fortunate, while somehow missing the point of finding a place to call home. Nat Wolff is wonderful with an non-ironic performance of a young man with the instinct to learn. Lily Tomlin, as Portia's mother, is somehow both subtle and outrageous in her performance - adding a wonderfully antagonism to Portia's origins. Gloria Reuben's Corinne could have been used as more of a sharp edged foil against Portia, but Paul Weitz's direction allows cooler heads to prevail for the final product.

Admission is a class act, allowing Fey to graduate at the head of her dramatic and comedic class. She may struggle with the thoughts of confronting the young man who may be her son, but she has come a long way from Baby Mama.

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