Rated 3.0

Tina Fey plays an ambitious Princeton University admissions officer whose recruitment rounds include an alternative school presided over by Paul Rudd. He has a star pupil he'd really like her to see, played by Nat Wolff. And what follows is somehow a romantic comedy between two other people about whether or not this kid is Princeton material. There's more, plotwise, but it's best not to give it all away. Better just to say it involves family matters, and Lily Tomlin as Fey's character's feisty feminist-scholar mom. Director Paul Weitz, most recently of Little Fockers and Being Flynn, doesn't really go in for satire, but even if he wanted to, Karen Croner's script, from Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel, might not allow it. Thus, Rudd and particularly Fey seem a little stranded in a film, which, if we're really making decisions based on merit here, doesn't quite deserve them. If Admission teaches us anything, it's that movies can be like universities: Some are just hard to get into.