In Mike White’s gentle teen comedy, Southern California teen Colin Hanks dreams of getting into Stanford so that he can become a writer and get away from his crazy family, not necessarily in that order. Unfortunately, guidance counselor Lily Tomlin (currently playing Tina Fey’s mother in Admission) sends Stanford the wrong transcript, and he’s rejected. Hanks goes on a road trip to the Palo Alto college to plead his case, but his slacker brother (Jack Black, natch), who’s along for the ride, threatens to undermine his brother’s efforts with his every foul-up.
Along the way, Hanks meets several grown-ups (most notably, Kevin Kline, as the writer whose novel inspired Hanks to apply to Stanford in the first place), who make him realize that getting into one’s dream school doesn’t necessarily solve all of one’s problems, and even seemingly successful adults hardly have everything all figured out. Jake Kasdan directs with the same empathy for teen brainiacs and wackos that he brought to TV’s Freaks and Geeks.
Next The Perfect Score