Admission Review
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Lately, romantic comedies have been adhering to the same rule that seems to govern every other kind of comedy: the raunchier and more outrageous, the better. Thanks to 2011’s runaway hit, Bridesmaids, theaters have been bombarded with all kinds of outrageous rom-coms. And perhaps that’s what makes director Paul Weitz’s low-key chick flick, Admission, feel so refreshing.

Admission stars Tina Fey as Portia Nathan, a by-the-book Princeton admissions officer who has the perfect job and a perfectly comfortable relationship with her long-time boyfriend, Mark (Michael Sheen). And with her boss (Wallace Shawn) planning his retirement and searching for his replacement, it seems that Portia’s life is about to get even better.

Then, while visiting a new alternative school, Portia meets John Pressman (Paul Rudd), a former college classmate who’s convinced that his student, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), is the son that Portia gave up for adoption. Suddenly, Portia finds herself breaking all the rules, trying to help Jeremiah’s Princeton dreams come true.

It seems like it’s been an eternity since we last saw a simple, grown-up rom-com—a sweet, funny chick flick that didn’t involve teen witches or brain-munching zombies or humor involving various bodily functions. And that will most likely work to Admission’s disadvantage. There’s a good chance that audiences have become so accustomed to crude humor and non-stop silliness that they just won’t understand an easy-going comedy about a woman discovering the passion that her life has been missing.

Meanwhile, for those of us who actually prefer our romantic comedies without a constant stream of outrageous gags, watching Admission feels like a reunion with a long-lost friend. Sure, the characters are a little clichéd—and the story is predictable—but that’s what makes it so comfortable. You’ll know the characters. You’ll how it’s all going to end. But the lovable cast members make the journey an enjoyable one nonetheless. Fey and Rudd are adorably amusing in the lead roles, while eccentric characters like Sheen’s Mark give the film just the right level of awkwardness.

Still, Admission isn’t the perfect rom-com. The conflict often feels forced, and the pacing is uneven. While most of the film moves along at a decent pace, the end feels long and drawn-out and needlessly melodramatic—ending the film on an admittedly low point.

Admission isn’t an outrageous comedy with non-stop laughs. It isn’t wild or crazy or shocking. It’s just an enjoyably predictable rom-com with some cute characters and a laid-back sense of humor. If you’re looking for something that’s hilariously over-the-top, you’ll be disappointed (and maybe a little bored, too). But if you’re planning a relaxing night out with your grown-up girl friends, Admission is a charming choice.

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