Saturday, March 5, 2016

ORANGE COUNTY (2002)




Directed By: Jake Kasdan 
Written By: Mike White 
 Cinematography By: Greg Gardiner 
Editor: Tara Timpone 



Cast: Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Schuyler Fisk, John Lithgow, Catherin O’Hara, Leslie Mann, Carly Pope, Lily Tomlin, Chevy Chase, Dana Ivey, Brett Harrison, Natasha Melnick, Harold Ramis, Kyle Howard, Mike White, Fran Kranz, Nat Faxon, Monica Keena, Lizzy Caplan

Shaun Brumder is a local surfer kid from Orange County who dreams of going to Stanford to become a writer and to get away from his disfunctional family household. Except Shaun runs into one complication after another starting when his application is rejected after his dim-witted guidance counselor sends the wrong application. So, Shaun goes to great lengths with a little help from his girlfriend Ashley and his drugged-out loser brother Lance to get into Stanford any way they see fit.

Screenwriter, Mike White seems so seething with ideas and quirky characters ready to bust out on screen. You want to follow in further stories and adventures with the characters. So they usually feel like extended pilots for a new series. Maybe it's his background in television writing. In turn his television series always seem like set-ups for films. While he is usually a writer-director here he only handles the script.

Jake Kasdan directs the film.He usually is an inspired comedy director. He has a more subdued, subtle dead own style when it comes to style and scripts. with films like ZERO EFFECT, BAD TEACHER and THE TV SET

This feels like a film that is distracted as we see the cavalcade of well known actors. Half the time the films scenes feels like set-up for a celebrity cameo. Like there are most to the other characters but we only get to see them at their craziest. Trying to make the celebrities more recognizable or introduce them to a younger audience. The film also plays it smart even when stupid.

This film feels like a MTV film while it tries to match it's demographic and quirky style for a built in audience. That leaves the film inspired but also grasping for something. So that it works more times than not , but still doesn't shine. Maybe because it seems to try too hard.

Jack Black plays well in the film. What a lot of critics have labeled him, as here I found him quite humorous. As the film has a bunch of standout hilarious scenes, Involving him, but though top billed he is more here as a supporting actor.

The films humor is more sold by more minor performances and supporting characters. Rather than the set-up’s

The leads and the director are both children of Hollywood superstars. They more then hold their own though these are ones they could play in their sleep.

This film feels like a minor work not deep at all. It's mildly amusing. All could do better and have this seems like them trying to be more mainstream.

Plus the premise of the film is that his writing is so good because of the characters in his stories. Only they aren't characters as much as real people. So he is just writing his real life not that creative. Which is what goes against the premise. At least as far as the ending goes. And seems dependent on.

Plus it feels like his decision at the end is supposed to be heartwarming. It more feels deceptive like he needs more material and inspiration.

Through as much as i criticize. I find myself re watching it time to time. It has a highly rewatchable quality. The film is short and sweet. It’s a fun time while it lasts, but never comes close to being a classic

I can't call it a good movie, more of a precious film that doesn't seem forced. That younger people can look at like it belongs in a museum. Like our own personal definite gift shop as a souvenir for others to share and see.

It really says you are a good writer. If you can tell the truth and bring it all together to be told vividly for an audience.


GRADE: C+

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