Admission (2013)

Portia (Tina Fey) has to stretch the truth to get her son Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) accepted into Harvard.

This is a slightly above-average romantic comedy starring Tina Fey as admissions officer Portia Nathan at Harvard. It’s fairly standard stuff but at least the setting is new. Portia finds herself put in an difficult position when she is told that one of the pupils she is  being asked to assess is actually the son who she gave up for adoption. Paul Rudd plays John Pressman (Fey’s soon-to-be-love interest). He is the headmaster of the the slightly unorthodox Quest school at which her son Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) is a pupil.
On the romantic side there is some genuine warmth between Fey and Rudd but it never really goes much beyond that. There’s certainly nothing remotely tear-inducing. Comedy then seems to be the priority and while Fey is a good comic actor there’s nothing in the script that’s going to make you laugh out loud. So smiles rather than laughs then.

The supporting cast includes Mark (Michael Sheen) Portia’s academic long term boyfriend who likes to call her ‘good girl’ while patting her on the head – he basically treats her like a cute dog. Nelson (Travaris Spears) is John’s precocious adopted African son he also looks remarkably like a young Don Cheadle. Then there’s Susannah (Lily Tomlin) who is Portia’s bossy mother, and also Corinne (Gloria Reuben), her bitchy rival at the university.

It’s an interesting setting with interesting characters, but it’s not funny enough for a comedy and not romantic enough for a romantic comedy.


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