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Admission

 March 8, 2013

Across seven seasons of 30 Rock, Tina Fey has embodied the archetype of the career gal who loses herself in work but longs for a family, to the point where that show just straight up makes fun of that now. But the movies promise endless, sort-of-new spins on that archetype—such as the character Fey plays in Admission, the uber-WASP-y named Portia Nathan, whose shepherding of young people's lives as a Princeton admissions officer is ironically contrasted with her own childless home life. Enter the saintly, scruffy, single surrogate dad to a group of multiracial displaced kids in his "experimental" New Hampshire high school, who charms Fey with his homespun farm existence and the fact that he looks and sounds like Paul Rudd. And she's in for an even more life-upending experience when she realizes that one of Rudd's teenage charges is very likely the son she once gave up for adoption.

Will Fey be able to reconnect with her long-lost child by bending the rules to get him into Princeton? Will she find family in the unlikeliest of places with Rudd, even if her shotgun-toting mama played by Lily Tomlin is all wacky and shotgun-toting about it? Can the admissions officer admit to her son—and Paul Rudd, and herself—that she needs more than just her career?  Will Tina Fey ever balance work and family? Will any of us? Why does she keep doing that thing with her lips?