It had one collegeage audience member fleeing in fear from the theater. “I can’t believe you took me to this,” he yelled at his parents. “She was terrible.”
The “she,” to whom he referred, is Portia Nathan, Fey’s character in “Admission.” Portia is a long-time Princeton admissions officer, who is so confused and conflicted, that she falsifies an application to accept a youth, once rejected. The fortunate one is Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), the pet student of John Pressman (Paul Rudd), a teacher at an alternative hippy high school, New Quest. John has convinced Portia that Jeremiah is the son she put up for adoption 17 years ago.
Portia has always towed the Princeton line. She now is melting down as her pompous professor lover Mark (Michael Sheen) leaves her for a Virginia Woolf scholar with child...his child. The discovery, that possible prodigy Jeremiah is her offspring, throws Portia into a tailspin and lubricates her stiff neck.
Her ‘60’s feminist free spirit mother Susannah (Lily Tomlin) adds to her undermining all-things Princeton. She also adds a much-needed boost to this depressing comedy.
The final Inquisition scene of “accept” or “deny” is enough to make colleague hopefuls tear up their loan applications.
For those with faith in the enrollment mechanism of the Ivy Tower- Ivy League, “Admission” is not the movie to see. I hope Princeton was well paid for use of their name and location. The wrath of Fey may be felt on endowment day.