Adam Rodgers’ “At Middleton” is that rarity: a romantic comedy that manages to surprise by subverting the formula and coming up with something fresh.
Rodgers and cowriter Glenn German create two pairs of opposites, then mix and match them in a story about parents taking their children to tour prospective college campuses. The name of the school is Middleton and it’s meant to look like an Ivy wannabe (though it was mostly shot at Gonzaga in Washington State).
George (Andy Garcia) is a cardiac surgeon taking his son Conrad (Spencer Lofranco) to see Middleton, although Conrad is dubious because the school is so small and remote. Edith (Vera Farmiga), by contrast, is a free spirit whose Type-A daughter Audrey (Taissa Farmiga, Vera’s younger sister) is laser-focused on Middleton because she wants to study with a famous academic (Tom Skerritt).
They all meet on a campus tour, conducted by a student with a bizarrely corny spiel. In no time, both parents have embarrassed their respective kids by asking questions; spotting a streak of anarchy in each other, the two parents actually ditch the tour and explore campus together on their own.
The experience is a revelation to both of them:
This review continues on my website.