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Admission : Tina Fey struggles to adapt to the big screen

Gregory Wakeman
11 June 2013
Admission : Tina Fey struggles to adapt to the big screen
Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in 'Admission'

Tina Fey is regarded as the darling of small-screen comedy.

Having honed her craft at Chicago's renowned Second City comedy troupe, she went on to become the first female head writer of 'Saturday Night Live' before creating her own sitcom, '30 Rock,' which is regarded as one of the best comedies of the 00s.

Fey is now looking to establish herself as leading lady material, but after originally wowing with her work on 'Mean Girls,' which she wrote and co-starred in, and charming in 'Baby Mama,' the comedienne has since failed to adapt her small screen persona to cinemas, with 'Date Night' proving to be a complete waste of her and Steve Carell's abilities.

Unfortunately, 'Admission' continues Fey's downward trend. It is a clichéd romantic comedy that only manages to remain watchable because of Fey and her fellow lead, Paul Rudd, who are both immensely likeable throughout and generate laughs that the script don't deserve.

Fey stars as Portia Nathan, a straight-laced admissions officer for Princeton university who after making a recruiting visit to an alternative high school that is run by her old college classmate, John Pressman, played by Rudd, thinks that she might have found the son, Jeremiah, that she secretly gave up years ago.

Because of this revelation, Portia starts to become a lot looser in her life choices and begins to bend the rules for Jeremiah, a highly intelligent child who has lost his way.

Directed by Paul Weitz, who wrote and directed the generation defining, 'American Pie', and 'About A Boy' with his brother Chris, before achieving solo success with 'In Good Company, American Dreamz' and 'Little Fockers,' each of which were enjoyable but remained rudimentary, struggles because he fails to decide whether or not 'Admission' is a comedy or drama, and in the process shipwrecks the entire movie with his indecision.

Weitz's adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel does deserve merit for its message and ambitions, but he overloads the plot, and with each added complication you can't help but feel less and less interested.

Michael Sheen, Nat Wolff, Lily Tomlin and Wallace Shawn each provide enjoyable turns as supporting characters, but at almost two hours long 'Admission' loses its way long before its ending and could well have used an intermission to get people through it.

Fey and Rudd's rapport stops 'Admission' from being a total dud, and gives you hope that she will one day find the perfect film and niche for her obvious talents, but even their relationship never truly blossoms and you can't help but feel unsatisfied at the closing titles.

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