Thursday, March 21, 2013

Admission Review - 2½ Stars

Tina Fey holds works as one of the admissions officers at Princeton.  On a visit to an alternative school she encounters an old college chum, Paul Rudd, who tells her that he knows her secret — that she had a child when they were in college and gave him up for adoption.  Paul believes the child goes to the school he heads and the kid wants to go to Princeton.  Tina can make that happen if she bends, and I mean really bends, the rules.  Workplace and motherhood and romance come together in this more serious than hilarious comedy.  Lilly Tomlin, whom I haven’t seen in a movie in years, shows up in a wonderful cameo as Tina’s mother—an aging feminist who proudly refuses to identify Tina’s father because he’s a stranger she met on a train back in the turbulent 60’s.  Lily’s so good she makes you hope others will drop her into their films.  If I may quote my friend Leon Harris ‘Lily Tomlin has turned into the female Alan Arkin.”  Good line.  The plot gets more complicated—as Tina’s husband leaves, her job gets in jeopardy, things aren’t what they seem, and of course she and Paul Rudd have a thing while they’re at this.  Tina Fey is one of the great comics of our time.  She creates wonderful vehicles for her talent because she knows herself.  She didn’t write this — she just took the acting job — so it’s a little less than brilliant.  In fact it’s too complicated for its own good.  But it’s Tina Fey and we should be grateful for what we get from her. Does it deliver what it promises?  Comedy/drama.  Is it entertaining?  Complicated and a little sad.  Is it worth the price of admission?  For Tina, sure, even though it’s a mixed review.