I like documentaries. Especially when they turn the camera on crazy. As far as I’m concerned, bring on the wackiness. The Kids Who Compete in the National Spelling Bee, The Obsessed Scrabble Players, The Dude Who Made His Own Body a Science Project and Lived On McDonald’s Food for a Month. I can’t get enough of this stuff. Especially when the sweetness of the people featured, their earnestness and dedication to their insane passion, makes my heart ache just a little bit.
Based upon these criteria I should have loved “Nursery University,” a feature documentary that follows five NYC families on the wild journey to nursery school admissions.
“Nursery University” didn’t make my heart ache a little tiny bit. It gave me a full on coronary.
Now let me say, if you are not facing the prospect of trying to enroll your child in a Manhattan preschool in the next year, you will probably enjoy this movie from start to finish. And in the moments when I could forget that I’m about to get on this particular train to Crazytown, I TOTALLY dug it. It’s funny and outrageous and fascinating and heartbreaking.
But it’s also completely insane. Not the movie. The New York City preschool admissions scene. I am embarrassed to say that I actually learned things from this movie. I learned that I will spend the entire morning the day after Labor Day on the phone trying to beat out one million other parents simply for admissions forms. Not admissions. The pieces of paper you fill out to even begin to be considered. Did I mention my baby is ONE??? She is.
Any parent of young children will get a kick out of this movie, provided he or she does not live in one of the five boroughs. And then congratulate him or herself heartily for choosing to live in a sane, healthy town or city in which you do not need to pay thirty thousand dollars a year for your child to fingerpaint at a preschool that promises to get her into Harvard. Put it on your Netflix queue. Preorder it at Amazon. Just check it out.
Directed by Marc H. Simon. Co-Directed by Matthew Makar.