O'Hara author's book makes cameo in Tina Fey's 'Admission'
When Nancy Berk received a release from a movie company, asking for permission to use her book in the new film “Admission,” she felt thrilled, but cautious.
The O'Hara resident's book — “College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship or Your Mind” ($12.95, Nancy Berk Media, LLC) — appears in a scene in “Admission.”
In the scene, Tina Fey, who plays a Princeton admissions officer, gives the book to Paul Rudd, who is trying to get a student admitted to the Ivy League university.
Berk — who will appear at an “Admissions” screening March 22 and do a book signing — signed the release last year. But she thought: What are the odds that a book might survive the cutting floor in the film-production process?
The book “gets its cameo, which is fine with me because, really, what's the likelihood that you're ever going to have a book in a movie, let alone a Tina Fey movie?” Berk says. “It's just a fun nod that gives my book a little bit of steam and makes me smile.
“It validates (the book) at some level,” she says. “It just reminds me of a really important part of our family's journey.”
Berk wrote her book — published in October 2011 — from experience as a parent. One of her sons, Dan Berk, graduated from New York University, and another, Hunter Berk, is a sophomore there. Berk says her book blends humor with practical tips to help families get through the trying and exhausting time of choosing a college for their kids, and then sending them off to school.
Berk, 53, is a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D., who serves as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Dental Medicine, where she teaches future dentists about interacting and empathizing with patients. Berk's other writing credits include the book “Secrets of a Bar Mitzvah Mom” and blogging for USA Today College and The Huffington Post.
Karen Croner — the screenwriter who penned the “Admissions” movie, based on the book of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz — says Berk's book fit the script perfectly and serves the same purpose as the movie. The movie relates to parents and kids and the stress they are going through and “dispels the misery so anyone applying or waiting will come out of the movie feeling better about whatever is inside that letter that arrives.”
The movie shows how passionate and overwhelmed admissions officers are, Croner says.
“The system is flooded with thousands and thousands of applications, and there's just not room for every amazing kid out there,” Croner says. “People believe they have to become superkids ... because of the number of people trying.
“I think that the movie ... is a movie with a lot of parts,” she says. In portraying the college-admissions process, the movie “helps us laugh at it and understand, and ... alleviate some of the crazy pressure that everyone feels.”
Nancy Berk, with the help of Mystery Lovers' Bookshop, will do a talk and book-signing after the 7 p.m. “Admission” screening March 22 at The Oaks Theater, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont.
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Review: ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ as rewarding as it is squirm-inducing
- DVD reviews: ‘Citizenfour,’ ‘Two Days, One Night’ and ‘Iris’
- Review: ‘Meru’ is a documentary that soars
- Owen Wilson in action movie ‘No Escape’: ‘I’m not all of a sudden changing into The Rock’
- Review: ‘No Escape’ provides thrills, chills — and an ugly worldview
- Review: ‘We Are Your Friends’ plays a rather tired tune