April 1, 2014

Admission (2013)

Tina Fey, Paul Rudd

I've never really thought of myself as much of a rebel, but I don't like 30 Rock. (Gasp!) And some of you may know my feelings on Judd Apatow movies (which of course, almost always include Paul Rudd). Which I guess, makes me an outlier of mainstream America because it seems like everywhere I turn, Tina Fey is being toasted as the savior of comedy and Paul Rudd's face is inescapable. [Notable exception: Tina Fey's impression of Sarah Palin, which is, in fact, salvation of both comedy and political sanity.]

Enter: this movie.

I thought it was almost guaranteed to be bad. Between a seemingly lame plot and so-so actors, I thought I was in for a Baby Mama experience. (Side rant: has anyone ever actually tried to sit through an episode of Parks and Recreation? The funniest thing about the show is this review I once read where the critic said "there were episodes of Joey that were more amusing." Ouch.)

But I was wrong, because I was overlooking one very important fact: Paul Rudd makes almost any movie mediocre. Seriously. You know how Hollywood is always looking for bankable actors who can pull in $100M at the box office? He is not that guy. But he is the guy who can make almost any romantic comedy, no matter how lame the plot, into a decent Friday night date movie that you won't be angry you spent 2 hours watching. You probably won't be having sex at the end of the movie either, but hey, he's not a miracle worker. He's like an old thermos - everything ends up at the same lukewarm temperature. With the rare exception of Clueless, I imagine if he were ever cast in a great movie, he'd pull it down to this same mediocre level. I mean, think about - can you really distinguish a difference in the quality level between say, This is 40, Wanderlust, and How Do You Know?

At it's best, this movie is awkward and funny and everything I imagine people see in Tina Fey on a regular basis. At it's worst, it's predictable and cheesy. So really, it's just another romantic comedy, labeled as a "dramedy" because there are a few serious moments in the movie, so you know, better put it into a whole separate genre!

Final word: Passable.

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