Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Admission

Hobo Dan: Friday night after work, rank enthusiasm for the weekend ahead, I accessed my omnipotent mobile phone thingy, located the Fandango app and queried it for information about show times for Admission; the new Tina Fey/Paul Rudd talkie. The search came up empty for times at our local theater. Not to be denied, I made camp at a proper mouse and keyboard terminal and used the powers of Google to expose this misinformation from the dastardly phone. Much to my dismay, the local cinema was not showing Admission. After a brief period of extraordinary rage, resulting the in the total destruction of my mellow attitude, I sat back and played video games until slipping into an eye strain induced coma.

But I’m in the forgiving mood today. After seeing Admission, it’s very clear to me why our local, rural theater didn’t get it. I blame the trailers (or lack thereof) as much as anything for my anger. I enjoyed the film, but rural town Ohio is not the target market for this film. I see that now.

Admission is a well-acted drama/comedy about an Admissions officer at Princeton who had a child in college that she gave up for adoption. I won’t get into the plot anymore than that, but you can imagine where it is going. By the way, are the Ivy League schools really that snooty about themselves? I could get into a rant about the pretentions of our modern educational system and how at the best of times it tries to fit round pegs into square holes; and at the worst of times wholesale ruins the educational future of a child who learns differently, but this film kind of did that for me. I enjoyed that bit.

I enjoyed a lot of bits in Admission. It was entertaining and thoughtful throughout. Judging by the sparse crowd the big city drew, most people must have been more inclined to see intellectual voids like Olympus Has Fallen or a third viewing of Identity Thief this weekend. But that’s okay. To each his own I guess. Ignorance is bliss even.

TL;DR version. I imagine there is a group of you readers who know me and my tastes well enough to make your viewing choice about Admission merely on the following statement: I was fully entertained by Admission throughout.

The Wife: A movie with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd? Sure, why not. After Oz the Great and Powerful, Admission was the only other movie that I anticipated seeing this month. After last year’s The Hunger Games release, which made March 2012 a great movie month, March 2013 has been slim pickings! So imagine my dismay when our local theatre of choice was not showing Admission. It took an Oscar nomination for them to get Silver Linings Playbook, but I will give them that because in smaller cities a lot of the Oscar-caliber movies don’t usually hit theatres until much later after their release. However, I was pretty surprised to see that a movie with popular comedians wasn’t being released everywhere. After seeing the movie, however, I now see why it was not at our theatre since it was more of a “Dramady.” Movies like Admission sadly don’t always have a market in rural areas.

Admission hasn’t done great at the box office and that’s a real shame because it was a good movie. I blame that on the marketing. The trailers depicted Admission to be more in line with comedies, rather than what the movie actually was. Sometimes poor marketing can make or a break a movie (Hello, does anyone remember John Carter last year? Didn’t think so.). Was Admission funny? Yes, but it was more of an intelligent comedy that was actually quite thought provoking and did manage to take on a serious tone at times.

As Hobo Dan mentioned above, Admission revolves around an Ivy League admissions counselor at Princeton (Fey). Her seemingly simple, routine life gets shaken up when she finds out that her son, who she gave up for adoption years ago, could possibly be applying to Princeton. Admission also sheds light on the American higher education system, which I found interesting. It seems more and more society wants everything to be black and white and group individuals into boxes. As someone who has always refused to be identified by simply checking a box, I enjoyed this aspect of Admission. Life is not black and white and neither is our education system. Everyone is different and many people learn differently. This conversation is for a whole other blog topic though, so I will move on and conclude that I really enjoyed Admission. It was a thought provoking film. However, if you go in expecting non-stop laughs you probably will be disappointed. One more thing before I wrap this up: for all my fellow 30 Rock lovers, Admission shows us that in an alternate universe Liz Lemon and Wesley Snipes totally did settle for each other!

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