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: It's odd, really, that Tina Fey would have about as strong a movie career as any NBC Thursday comedy participant of the last decade outside of Steve Carell; even at its ratings peak, 30 Rock
was never really a hit like The Office
(or even My Name is Earl
!) was a hit. Yet all three of her starring vehicles (one of which, granted, was more of a writing vehicle and came out before 30 Rock
, Baby Mama
, and Date Night
—have been solid hits. Maybe the key is her selectivity: not that either of the comedies she didn't write are the cream of the crop, but by only starring in a movie ever couple of years, she hasn't saturated the market, or diluted her record by trying out lots of different stuff in her (presumably minimal) 30 Rock
downtime. In fact, for someone with huge comedy connections whose show also hosted movie people Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Julianne Moore, James Franco, Jennifer Aniston, Salma Hayek, and Steve Martin as guest stars and, for that matter, Alec Baldwin as a series regular, Fey has appeared in relatively few movies at all, with only a handful of voiceover gigs and cameos padding out her filmography.
Admission feels right in that Baby Mama/Date Night wheelhouse, though perhaps less broad: a mainstream movie dealing with the stresses and pressures of a 40ish professional woman. I'm sure there are hardcore fans who find these movies intolerably wan and light for such a sharp comic mind, but at the same time, Fey brings an intelligence and sweetness that these sorts of lady-issue comedies and dramedies often lack. 30 Rock has so much wild satire that I don't particularly crave more of the same in Fey's movie vehicles. Also, even though she's only done a few movies, it's kind of crazy that Fey hasn't been paired with Paul Rudd before now: it's exactly the kind of too-rare paring that makes me say, yes, I would like to watch those two people pretend to fall in love, even if it's kind of lame. No wonder the faintly desperate TV ads for this movie have included talking-heads of the pair basically just saying, "come on, it's the two of us in a movie; who wouldn't enjoy that?"