Paul Rudd and Tina Fey Form Comedy Dream Team in "Admission"

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Straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted -- but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
Photo Credit: Focus Features
December 5th, 2012

When Tina Fey upgraded from late night TV on "Saturday Night Live" to primetime with "30 Rock," her fans were ecstatic that her career was about to blossom. Her higher profile would also allow her to do movies during her show's hiatuses, especially ones with big-name comic actors like Steve Martin and Steve Carell. With "Admission," due in 2013, Fey gets to team up with another funny man who fans have long wished her to co-star with-Paul Rudd.

Rudd has been a mainstay of quite a few raunchy comedies like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Knocked Up," whereas Fey has gravitated more toward dialogue-driven comedies like "Mean Girls," which she also wrote. It is no real surprise then that they haven't starred in a movie together before now, although it makes sense for them to do so. They are both likeable, bankable actors in their prime who can do both drama and comedy if need be. Since "Admission" has elements of both, they are the perfect duo to team up for the lead parts.

Fey plays Portia Nathan, a career-driven woman who seems to have given up any pretense of marriage and family, even if she doesn't admit to it. She works in the admissions department at Princeton University and is close to landing her dream promotion. Her focus is squarely on the promotion, which means that her love life leaves a whole lot to be desired.

Enter Rudd, who plays single father John Halsey, who went to college with Portia many years before. He now works at an alternative high school where a mix of students that the school system has forgotten congregate in the hopes of getting their diplomas. Portia, hoping to prove to her boss that she deserves the job she is trying to nab, decides to get proactive with the college admissions process and pays a visit to the school on a recruiting assignment.

While there, she runs into John, who immediately notices her and tries to catch up on old times. Portia is polite but is also distracted because one of her coworkers who is also eyeing the same job is alone with their boss and trying to impress him. Despite the fact that her head is not completely there, John tries to integrate her into the school and really see what some of these students are capable of.

John also has another motive for trying to get and keep Portia's attention. He knows that Portia became pregnant while they were in college together, something that resulted in her giving the baby up for adoption. It was a closed adoption, and Portia has not seen the boy since she gave birth. John is convinced that one of his brightest students, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), is the son she gave up long ago.

Portia doesn't believe him, of course, until she meets the boy for herself. He isn't exactly the spitting image of her, but he has a lot of her unique quirks and mannerisms. Despite the fact that she doesn't want to believe it, she begins to wonder what she may have missed as a mom and finds herself becoming fiercely protective of Jeremiah. She wants to help him since she was never there for him, and this includes making sure that his rotten high school grades don't affect his future. She decides to try and get him into Princeton, despite the fact that his transcript and extracurricular activities don't exactly mirror what an Ivy League school usually expects of its prospective students. She tries to sneak him in anyway, despite the fact that it could lead to her not getting her dream promotion.

The filming of "Admission" began in the summer of 2012 while "30 Rock" was on hiatus, before filming commenced on its final season. The primary shooting location was Bronxville, New York, which stood in for suburban and rural New Jersey, where the film is primarily based. In a rare move, the board at Princeton University gave the crew permission to film a small amount of scenes there to make the movie seem more realistic. The entire shoot took just six weeks to film, giving Fey the chance to make it her last film project before the long run of "30 Rock" would end, allowing her to move to films full time.

The film is directed by Paul Weitz ("About a Boy") from a screenplay by Karen Croner ("One True Thing") and based on the 2010 novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, who also had a small hand in writing the screenplay. It is slated to open nationwide on March 8, 2013.