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Orange County
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O'Hara, John Lithgow, Lily Tomlin
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Not too young.
Date Movie: Sure.
Gratuitous Sex: Could have been more.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: No gut-busters, but cute chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Jake Kasdan
Produced By: Scott Rudin, Van Toffler, David Gale, Scott Aversano

Orange County
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:30 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
"Orange County" isnít an easy movie to review. Itís not your balls-out comedy as you think it might be. Itís not a serious drama, either. But it is a movie with a message, and you may not like it, nor appreciate the movie, but I liked "Orange County" for those simple facts.

As the story goes, Shaun (Colin Hanks), is your typical, too smart for classes so he seems more of a stoner/surfer, high school student. But when his buddy dies in a surfing accident, Shaun is more like a lost soul until he finds this book left on the beach. It is then that he decides he wants to be a writer, that he really wants to get out of Orange County, and that his ticket to both of these is to get into Stanford. A seeming shoe-in, according to his guidance counselor played by Lily Tomlin, Shaun only applies to Stanford. But the guidance counselor is a boob, sends the wrong transcript, and Shaun isnít accepted. Distraught, Shaun doesnít really know what to do. He enlists the help of his dad, John Lithgow, who is divorced from mom, Catherine OíHara, but dad just blows him off. Mom, on the other hand, is basically a drunk who doesnít want her baby to leave home. Even his girlfriend, Ashley (Schuyler Fisk) tries to help by getting one of the Stanford board members to meet Shaun, at his house, where mom, step-dad, and brother, Lance (Jack Black), pretty much blow any chance for Shaun to get into his dream college.

But whatís an older brother to do than help his younger brother fulfill his dream? So Lance grabs Shaun and Ashley, and they make a mad dash for Stanford to visit the Dean of Admissions (Harold Ramis) and explain the mix-up. Things arenít that easy for the visit and more and more Shaun hates his family, hates his life, and just wants to get out of Orange County. What he finds out, however, is that lifeís lessons and twistedness sometimes makes for the greatest writers, and our boy Shaun, with mom and dad coming around in the nick of time, well, Shaun makes probably the best decision for his life as a writer.

Like I wrote before, "Orange County" isnít the teen comedy you might expect. Jack Black is slightly over the top, but not so much so that it is annoying. Shaunís family is as messed up as most families, and what son doesnít want to get away from the madness, thinking college is the answer? Sure, the movie overextends some high school clicks and makes a joke out some of the high school experiences, but in the end, the movie does a good job at showing how sometimes things arenít that bad when you step back and look at the whole picture. Schuyler Fisk does a good job as the caring girlfriend, Catherine OíHara and John Lithgow are great as the oddball parents, and Colin Hanks does a great job as the "just looking for an answer of what he wants to be, and also get away from his mixed up family" high school student.

You may not laugh out loud, you might hate this movie, but I really like it and give "Orange County" 4 stars out of 5. If youíve got a family you think is bizarre, can remember when you really thought you had life figured out and that figuring it out meant leaving home and going to college, and have a brother who you love, but sometimes find him embarrassing, you too might like "Orange County." If youíre looking for guys getting laid for the first time, this movie might not be for you.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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