Five Questions for Admission Director Paul Weitz

by Ethan Alter March 18, 2013 6:00 am
Five Questions for <I>Admission</i> Director Paul Weitz

Tina Fey's post-30 Rock career begins in earnest with Admission, a romantic comedy set in the high-stakes world of college admissions. Don't think that qualifies as a "high-stakes" world? Then you clearly haven't had to apply to college recently. Fey plays career-minded Princeton admissions officer Portia Nathan, who enjoys a meet cute with the personable principal of a progressive New England high school (Paul Rudd). Admission's director Paul Weitz, whose previous films include American Pie, About a Boy and last year's Being Flynn, spoke with us about collaborating with Fey and his own experience with higher education.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

by Ethan Alter July 9, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best Spring Break ever...

Admission: Put It on the Reject Pile

by Ethan Alter March 22, 2013 6:01 am
<i>Admission</i>: Put It on the Reject Pile

As the driving creative force behind 30 Rock (and, to a certain extent, Saturday Night Live during her tenure as head writer) for its seven-season run, Tina Fey generally tried to cut against the television comedy grain, unafraid to chase after comedy that was offbeat, ambitious and downright weird, particularly for a network sitcom. Perhaps that's why Fey's feature film career has been, for the most part, so disappointing. Instead of letting her freak flag fly, she's pursued middle-of-the-road mainstream star vehicles, from the pregnancy-themed Baby Mama (which was more sitcom-y than 30 Rock), to the "zany" night-on-the-town adventure Date Night (which managed to waste the combined talents of Fey, Steve Carell, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, James Franco) and now Admission, which feels like an American version of those refined (re: pleasantly dull) British comedies -- think Waking Ned Devine and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- that only people over 40 go and see. It's mostly harmless, but also pretty lifeless.

Wanderlust: Wet Hot American Hippies

by Rachel Stein February 24, 2012 6:00 am
<I>Wanderlust</i>: Wet Hot American Hippies

David Wain's Wanderlust is neither the most original nor compelling movie ever made, let alone of the year so far. It is, however, laugh-out-loud funny (and not just in a raunchy way) and probably the only film in 2012 that will reference the Nintendo Power Glove. Starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as a New York City couple who find themselves living on a rural commune, Wanderlust's concept is about as complicated and creative as Role Models, Wain's 2008 movie that I personally found to be surprisingly hilarious. These days, I've been such a fan of Childrens Hospital that my expectations for Wanderlust were fairly high -- even factoring in that the movie had been postponed from its fall release date to February, which is typically regarded as the time of year that studios stick... let's just say their "less than Oscar-worthy" movies -- and I was still impressed with it. While the film is in no way perfect, several major components make it into a success:

Our Idiot Brother: All of Our Friends Made a Movie Together

by Rachel Stein August 26, 2011 6:00 am
<i>Our Idiot Brother</i>: All of Our Friends Made a Movie Together

Do you ever get sick of films that obviously have a large amount of improv? I'm fine with a few riffs here or there, but sometimes I long for tighter editing and, you know, actual writing. A line that I loved in The AV Club's excellent "Michael Schur walks us through Parks And Recreation" article series was when showrunner Schur was discussing the use of improvisation on his series and noted, "[W]e have many, many times thrown away jokes that we thought were way funnier than the stuff we wrote because, completely unintentionally, in the moment, they alter the scene. They change the motivation of the character or they indicate that the character doesn't care about something that he or she cares about or something. And I will always cut those jokes out because it's never worth sacrificing the scene or the story or the character for one joke."

Role Models: The New Model

by Lauren Gitlin November 7, 2008 9:49 am
Role Models: The New Model You could say that Judd Apatow and his cadre of actor/writer/producer/director friends have raised the bar for testosterone-fueled juvenilia. To some degree, we've come a long way from the Farrelly brothers and even the Kevin Smiths of the world, inasmuch as you can elevate dick jokes and nerd references to a slightly higher level. Perhaps because of his ubiquity, Apatow's particular breed of humor has been the Status quo for that specific genre for the last several years, and therefore most of us have learned to expect that much, but no more.

David Wain Makes Everything Better

by Lauren Gitlin August 6, 2008 4:04 pm
David Wain Makes Everything Better Man, today started off crappy. Humidity, rain, and an early morning trip to the wilds of the Upper East Side to get one's ass X-rayed is not a recipe for an awesome Wednesday. But after a grilled cheese sammich and some much-needed rocking out to M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," things started looking up. And then I saw a trailer for the upcoming David Wain/Paul Rudd chucklefest Role Models and presto change-o: Best Day Ever! What's that you say? Ken "Wait For Me Abby Bernstein!" Marino shares writing credits? Sign me the bleep up!

I Love Lamp, Anchorman 2

by Lauren Gitlin July 28, 2008 12:00 pm
I Love Lamp, <i>Anchorman 2</i> Will Ferrell, did you read my review of your latest moviefilm and feel that you needed to redeem yourself in my eyes? That is so considerate of you, you big lug! Why else would you and Adam McKay announce you were in the midst of creating a follow-up to the dumb-larious Anchorman just after I made the assertion that of all your various cinematic man-child incarnations, Ron Burgundy was the bestest?



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