Attention Word Slingers readers: Beginning December 11, 2019, all posts will be available at Thank you for reading Word Slingers!

Admission Review

Admission Review

I would love to say that Admission is a film with extreme and natural character development and a film where Tina Fey dazzles audiences alongside co-star Paul Rudd, but it is a film with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.

Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is an admission officer for Princeton University; she lives with her boyfriend of ten years, has no children, and is rather complacent. While speaking to high school students on a tour around the northeast, she visits “Quest School,” directed by John Pressman (Paul Rudd) and meets Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), an unassumingly intelligent student at Quest.

Admission is an adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel Admission. Adapted by Karen Croner (after a 15 year hiatus), this film lacks in the story department. Admission forces character development and prods the story to advance in a way that is unfamiliar with novel adaptations and is clearly carried by the cinematography of Declan Quinn.

Whether it is by encouraging students to change the world through Princeton or teaching students how to create sustainable irrigation at Quest School, a common theme throughout Admission is doing good, though never in conjunction with anything religious. With a few curse words sprinkled throughout the film, the most awkward and unnecessary scene consists of a conversation between Fey and Rudd while they are each taking a shower in separate stalls. The viewer sees only their head and shoulders, but with no advancing dialogue, this uncomfortable scene is pointless.

This film also has an excessive amount of cursing. Christians may feel too uncomfortable with the amount of swear words and it likely is not appropriate for teens. Further, the cohabitation portrayed in the plot sends the wrong message.

Aforementioned, the cinematography makes this film. Beautiful wide shots and deep focus break from the current mold of movies, but the technique used to give the allusion of a student being in the room while being weighed for admission was most clever. Each student appears in the office of Portia Nathan while she is reading their file, though not physically. Instead of Portia reading each student’s file aloud (unnatural), the figments of the students allow them to present themselves to Portia. Later while using this same effect, each student stands silent before the admission officers as they accept or deny admission to Princeton and upon denial, the floor opens and the student falls through.

Throughout Admission, the common theme of doing good is coupled with the fear of rejection. Introduced by students fearing denial to Princeton, the chance of rejection continues by resting on Portia. She fights for a job, is dumped by her boyfriend, gets pushed away by her mother and embodies the impending rejection of Jeremiah to Princeton.

Admission doesn’t try to make the viewer feel good by its conclusion; instead, it presents the idea of compromise and rejection as faced by people in real life, but with the only spiritual element consisting of a reference to Buddhism, the characters are left with only the hope of acceptance and success instead of faith in God.

Admission (Paul Weitz, 2013) PG-13 – 6/10 stars

Editor’s note: The writings and opinions expressed on Word Slingers do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff or affiliated parties. For more detailed movie content information, click here.

Church Hopping

Church Hopping

College is the time when young people emerge from the protective realm of their parents’ authority and venture into their own lives, lives which are affected by their own decisions. For many, this is an intensely freeing sensation, but it is also a fairly daunting one in some respects.

As a Christian, one of the hardest things about coming to college was leaving my home church. I had attended the same church since the time I was four years old. When I started school in a new city, I hadn’t really put much thought into where I would attend church while at college.

At first, it seemed like such an intimidating task. I was trying to find the place where I would receive a significant amount of my spiritual nourishment. I had to make sure it was perfect. I had to make sure the preacher was preaching solid doctrine, that the people were sincere, that Jesus was really acknowledged as King. The last thing I wanted was to settle in a church that didn’t speak truth. But I was no theologian. What qualified me to know what made a good church versus a bad church? I felt woefully ill-prepared, so I was intensely paranoid at the beginning of my “church hopping” experience. But, the longer my search lasted, the more comfortable with the task I became. The challenge, in and of itself, was bringing me closer to God.

When I walked into a new church, I wouldn’t know anybody there. I was a total stranger in that place. But for some miraculous reason, I never felt like I was visiting a church on my own. I always felt like it was me and the Holy Spirit exploring the place together. I would have this feeling of, “Okay God, it’s just you and me.” I felt urged to test these churches against what I knew to be true from Scripture. I admit, I don’t always think about consulting the Holy Spirit when I make a decision (something I should probably work on), but in this case specifically, it was an adventure to go through this experience with my God by my side, making the decisions together.

For the first time in my life, I was having to define the qualities in a church that really mattered to me. Every church I visited was a little different, and I learned something new about myself at each one. I learned what style of teaching really speaks to me. I learned what kind of atmosphere of worship helps me better approach the throne of grace. I learned that I disliked it when I could slip in and out of a church without being noticed, but that I loved it when people reached out and made an effort to know me.

I eventually found a church that satisfied each of these desires in my heart, and the time I spent searching for my church home was an intense blessing to my soul.