Saturday, August 10, 2013

This parenthood thing. Oh, it's a disaster.

If it ever comes up, I'll say that I applied to two colleges, though I might be exaggerating that tally by one. If I remember correctly, everybody in my graduating class (of thirty-three) had to apply to the nearby University of Hawai'i, whether we intended to go there or not. It was a lone piece of paper, where we checked some boxes and signed our names on the back. Seriously. Where it went after that, who the f--k knows, so, let's officially label that one as a possible application. The other one? Well, I was accepted right away. And clearly, it's worked out for me. I mean, I write a blog.

As our first movie since my wife delivered our daughter Violet, I thought Admission was going to be perfect. Since day and night have blended into she pooped again? my original plan was to Redbox the shortest friggin' movie in the machine and pray to Jeebus that I could finish it. But as the sweet smell of freedom/gasoline swirled around me at our local Royal Farms, so did the feeling of guilt. I had to include my wife, even if I knew there was no way in Hell she would finish it. And who better to entertain my hero than her hero, right? Well...

Turns out Admission isn't that good. Kind of at all. Despite starring two incredibly likable and talented people like Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, there's something incredibly off about the entire flick. Frustratingly, we spend too much time with characters we don't really care about (I'm looking at you Mom), and not enough time with those we do (Rudd). Fey, who can be hysterical, rarely gets to let loose as she plays the straight-laced tight ass, Portia. Whenever she finally explodes, it feels forced and surprisingly, extra ridiculous. Potentially the biggest offender however, is the the fact that the whole damn movie, revolving around someone who is a f--king wizard with forms and applications, allows a typo (or a smudge?) to knock everything on its ass. Maybe that's the point of the whole thing, or maybe the whole thing doesn't have a point.

The admissions department at Princeton is an interesting place to set the dreaded dramedy (sorry, I hate those bullshit non-word words). The process of selecting an incoming class in fascinating, and often portrayed in an entertainingly clever way. Unfortunately, the theme of letting someone in runs through each and every aspect of the story and damn near suffocates any of the fun. Seriously, take any character in the film and they aren't allowing someone or something access. This incredible metaphor of admission? I get it. I do. And I didn't even get into an Ivy League school. Though I did request an application to Yale. Seriously. Almost started filling it out, too.

Speaking of something completely misguided and hopeless, here is the latest round of the Yays and Boos. They never got into Higher Learning, but they did see it theatrically. Kristy Swanson? Oh, she's a Yay.

Mr. Rudd, on a scale of one to ten, what would you give this flick?
  • Rudd. I don't care if the movie's not that good, I f--king love Paul Rudd. Bonus points for him playing a teacher, too. I bet you guys feel like a bunch of assholes.
  • Not that I've mentioned it, but there's a kid in this that Fey has to get into Stanford. I liked this guy. He was quirky, but not to a fault. Solid.
  • Speaking of solid dudes, Nelson the Ugandan orphan is another one. Could've been annoying and shitty, this kid ruled.
  • Even though her ex's new lady, Helen, is a huge bitch (she's referred to as a Woolf-twat), she's kind of funny, too. Loved her bit in the convertible.
  • And finally, the ultimate Yay. This is one of the rare times that I watched a chick flick alone while the girl snored the entire time and it was the greatest thing ever. I'm not talking about my wife, though she was asleep, too. Just not curled up on my shoulder.
Wallace Shawn. The voice of bureaucracy.
  • Holy shit, her mother, played by Lily Tomlin, was the worst. Maybe, just maybe, she redeems herself in the end, but I couldn't stand her throughout.
  • She constantly runs into her ex, and instead of getting progressively funnier, it gets increasingly stupid. And annoying. And typical of these movies.
  • Also typical, is the scene where the stuffy lady and the kooky guy do something she would never do. Usually, it's an impromptu dance, or saying f--k it and enjoying the rain. It's usually an exhilirating Here, it's deliver a calf. This scene is useless bullshit. Literally.
  • Alumni Guy. What a douche. Well, prick, actually.
  • Other Admissions Lady. You's a cold bitch. Selling Portia out like that.
  • I feel sorry for the Ecuadorians! Worst burn ever.
  • And finally, maybe I was just tired, but it really would have been great if this movie had just been funny. Not sappy, not dramatic. Just funny.
Eighteen years from now, my eleven-day old daughter will hopefully be getting ready to head off to college. And after seeing this movie, there's only one institution of higher education I can think of that she should attend.

University of Hawai'i.

I'll even help her with the application. At least the front, anyway. She can sign her own name.


  1. It's sad how two likable people got stuck with a bad movie. Hopefully they work together again, but in a good movie. Great review!

    1. I completely agree. Tina Fey needs to be in some better stuff, asap.

  2. I hate when talented people get stuck in a crap movie. :( Great review, and I love the name Violet, it's so pretty.

    1. I don't really remember it, but I think I felt the same way after Date Night. You put two awesome people like that and you expect something tasty. This? Not so much.

      Thanks! Between you and me, I got it from The Incredibles.

  3. I saw the trailer for this and my reaction, despite the strong cast, was kind of "meh" -- I'm sorry to here it was even more underwhelming than I'd expected. On the good side, this is the second time -- that I know of -- that Rudd has played a teacher (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Our profession just got a boost in coolness credibility.

    Happy to hear Violet and her big brother are thriving. I actually miss the parenting babies stage, even though I remember how exhausting it is. And that not being able to venture out of the house, or sleep, for more than 2 hours thing. Oy! But hey -- an opportunity for a non-prurient usage of your BOOBAGE tag. :-D

    1. Felt the same way about the trailer..but I really was thinking about the wife. I was actually going to rent some D-grade flick with Paul Walker, but the gas fumes clouded my judgement.

      I pretty much run my class like the sarcastic jerk that I am here...I just wish I could keep it real like Rudd. The guy is hysterical. (Never saw Perks...though I almost rented it once [if that counts]).

      BOOBAGE. Funny that tag was from this blog', infancy. Zing!

  4. Predictable and a little dull, but I had a good time with this one. I don't know if that's mainly because of Rudd and Fey, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. That much is true and I'll keep to that, dammit!! Good review M.

    1. Put your hands together for a slightly riled up Dan O.! Good stuff, man. I'm not mad at anybody who liked it, I just expected more. Dammit!!

  5. VIOLET! Good Lord, that is one of my favorite names! So pretty!

    "And finally, the ultimate Yay. This is one of the rare times that I watched a chick flick alone while the girl snored the entire time and it was the greatest thing ever. I'm not talking about my wife, though she was asleep, too. Just not curled up on my shoulder." - owwwww :)

    I need to see that because Micheal Sheen is in it, for I'm sure like 5 minutes of screentime, but I love Rudd so I may enjoy it a bit.

    1. Ha! Thanks. We were hesitant because our last name is Brown, but we liked the name too much to resist. Most people seem to like it - which is appreciated!

      Yeah, what a sap.

      Sheen in definitely a funny guy...he's just not given a lot to do. Rudd is always fact, this movie needs much more of him.