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New age teen comedy that knocks it out of the park.
Sean10221818 May 2004
Orange County is a predictable, new age teen comedy. Then why is it so great?

Southern California surfer-dude Shaun Brumbder is all about surfing and partying until one of his good friends dies in a surfing accident and Shaun begins to question the point of his life which is all surfing and partying. Then he finds a book that changes his life and he decides he wants to become a writer. The problem? He lives in the rich LA suburban community of Orange County, where people are more obsessed with pop culture and themselves than being happy and Shaun feels he needs to get out to go become a writer and study under his favorite author at Stanford University. (which is about 6 hours north of where he lives)

Again, why is this great? First and foremost, we have the script. It's smart, but still wacky as a teen comedy needs to be. The characters aren't nitwits wander around aimlessly or purposely insult themselves by being complete morons. There's no pointless wandering for a car or bathing in urine. It knows what it is, a teen comedy, but it's smart enough to know it doesn't have to be grossly offensive or incredibly stupid to be funny. The story has a heart, and the wacky antics all support it.

Next is the cast. Without the perfect cast this movie could've been a dud. The main character is played by Colin Hanks (son of Tom Hanks) in his first major starring role and he nails it. He plays the smart surfer-dude with a dream perfectly and he deals and reacts to his environment and the rest of the superb cast as he should. If you really watch you can find a little bit of his father in him, but mostly he is his own actor, and a good one at that. He's very natural playing a realistic character. His girlfriend is played by Schuyler Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek), and she's a very positive, caring California girl. Her character wasn't as strong as Hanks', but she was mainly meant to be more of his sidekick than counterpart. Jack Black was the reason I saw this movie in theaters, and he was as awesome as usual (up until recently, where's he has just been taking whatever is thrown at him seemingly) as the unmotivated stoner older brother Hanks' character Shaun doesn't want to be. He's the worst example in the world, and is ultimately part of Shaun's motivation to not become like him. Next are Catherine O'Hara and John Lithgow, who both have seemingly come into their prime closer to middle age. They play off of each other wonderfully as Shaun's selfish parents that live the rich LA life and feel like their son owes them something. Chevy Chase is great as the school principle even though the role is small, he gets a laugh or two as he is bound to do. The teacher Mr. Burke is played by Mike White who strangely hits home as a California high school teacher more into pop culture than teaching, and he also wrote the fantastic script. Also, he is just another character in the long line of people hold Shaun down. Leslie Mann and George Murdock have funny bit parts as Shaun's step-parents who are also completely out of touch with the world. Kevin Kline has a great bit part as the author who inspires Shaun to become a writer and tells him exactly what he wants to hear.

After that, this is just quality film-making by good people. Jake Kasdan (son of Lawrence Kasdan) directed this and his style shines all the way through. I first became a fan of his after his work on the TV show Freaks and Geeks, which is rather similar to this movie in that it deals with the wackiness of teen life in a knowing way. The writer Mike White also wrote a few episodes of Freeks and Geeks, which if you haven't seen, I highly suggest you do as it just hit DVD. Kasdan knows where to put the laughs, but he also knows how to moderate them and not make it a wacky teen orgy fest like the American Pie movies which are motivated only by teen libidos rather than real ambitions. The movie has a good story, and it is well told.

In the end, there is nothing groundbreaking in Orange County. It's a pretty straightforward teen movie with a realistic plot and great performances. With another American Pie-type cast with emphasis on the goofiness, this movie would've been a low-grade teen sex flick. Instead we have a real story about ambition and teen life with a few falls off of roofs and vases falling on heads. 8/10
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Pretty good movie
crowrobot21 April 2004
Orange County is a good movie. Not bad, not neccesarily great, but a good hour and a half of entertainment. It's got charm and sophistication. It's also got two young actors that need to be in more movies: Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks, and Schuyler Fisk, Sissy Spacek's daughter. These two young actors have wonderful moments, and they play it straight. Jack Black is zany, and the other comic actors have good cameos: Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, and an unbilled Kevin Kline as Marcus Skinner. Mike White's script is coming-of-age crossed with teeanage comedy. Also, the director, Jake Kasdan, son of Lawrence Kasdan, is perfect in setting up the story. All in all, after seeing this movie, I felt I had had a good time watching a movie. Go rent it. You won't regret it.
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I had low expectations and was surprised
I feel that I should explain 2 things before I give my opinion of this movie 1) I don't expect much from a MTV production and 2) I went to see this movie just to see Colin Hanks, because of his role as Alex Whitman in Roswell.

I was surprised and impressed with Colin Hanks, and Schuyler Fisk who I had not seen in anything. Both of whom played characters that actually had some depth. They actually wanted to go to college not just get laid or marry someone rich.

I found the movie light and funny, full of great cameos

If you are expecting to see a lot of Jack Black you may be disappointed. He only has a supporting role. But hilariously funny as usual.

I also wish that they had kept Colin's hair off of his face, like in some of the beach scenes. The whole bangs thing just, just…. I just didn't like it.

Worth the rental fee for the cameos, Jack Black, some off color jokes and some of the lines the supporting actors have.

DVD has some great deleted scenes and explains why some of the ads showed things that were not in the movie.
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It's a lot better than you might think it is.
rubytuesday_1431 May 2003
When I first saw Orange County as a trailer, I thought it was just another teen movie. So I rented it and was surprised. It actually was pretty good. The movie had big and minor names and a sensible plot. Shaun Brumder was a likeable character and was very much like a modern day Holden Caulfield.It was laugh out loud hilarious with a different kind of comedy because it was ACTUALLY FUNNY.

Overall, Orange County is a great movie if your tired and need a laugh.Or if you're a big fan of Jack Black or Ben Stiller.
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A likeable, well-acted comedy
Mr. Pulse13 January 2002
Orange County is not as funny as American Pie, but that's all right. The movie has its share of ridiculous, over-the-top gags (A dean of admissions high on ecstasy, for example), but it's far more interested in its characters than its jokes, a refreshing change of pace for this type of movie. The material's supported by some very good performances, especially from leads Colin Hanks and Jack Black.

Hanks plays Shaun, a high school senior who desperately wants to escape his horrible upper middle class life in Orange County for literary pursuits under his favorite writer, Marcus Skinner, who is a professor at Stanford University. But his guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin) botches his application, leaving Shaun relying on the assistance of his stoner brother Lance (Black) and his selfish father (John Lithgow).

You have no doubt heard that Colin Hanks is the son of famous acting father Tom. Even if connections got him the job, you cannot deny that he puts in a strong lead performance (Even if it does have some echoes of his dad's likeable everyman persona). Comedy stars like Catherine O'Hara, Chevy Chase, Garry Marshall, all put it nice small pieces, but it is Jack Black who owns most of the funniest moments in the film. His mere presence in a scene can make it funny; often he brings out laughs with a look or a eyebrow twitch.

The film gets a little sappy and formulaic as it heads toward its conclusion; Shaun's reaction when he meets his hero is spot-on, but their conversation about his story feels wrong; and the inevitable ending is what you pretty much expect as soon as that initial rejection letter arrives at Shaun's door. Professor Skinner put it best; "My one complaint - You need an ending."

Orange County needed a stronger, more unusual ending to compliment the offbeat, but very enjoyable vibe the rest of the of the movie gives off. Still, I found myself completely entertained until the end, and left really appreciating the fine writing and acting, and even wishing the movie was a little longer. And that doesn't happen too often.
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Best comedy I've seen in ages.
Shawn Watson11 May 2004
I have laughed so hard or so frequently in so long, too long. Orange County is quite possibly one of the best comedies of the past few years. I absolutely love it. To be honest I had little faith in Jake Kasdan after Zero Effect (which had Zero Effect on me) but this movie shows he has a real sense of humor and he balances it perfectly with outrageous characters and an untypically good-natured comedy plot.

Shaun Brumner (Colin Hanks in a wacky performance) is refused entry to Stanford University because his dunderheaded College Counsellor mailed them the wrong the transcripts. He recruits his slobbish brother (an even wackier Jack Black) and his girlfriend to help him in increasingly desperate and far-fetched methods of convincing Stanford to reconsider. It may sound like a dumb story but the characters and situations surrounding it provoke the maximum amount of laughter.

The two leads are particularly impressive and show natural comic genius that makes me beg for more from these characters. Keep a look out for loads of cameos from Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Ben Stiller and Kevin Kline. And it's loads better than that crappy O.C. TV show.

The DVD is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound. The extras are great with a commentary from Kasdan, deleted scenes which actually should have stayed in the movie and loads of TV spots with scenes especially created. You must get this. Everybody needs to laugh and laugh you will.
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Kristine19 March 2005
I came home from a hard day of work, and to tell the truth, I needed a melt down. That's maybe the only reason why I enjoyed this movie. Because I seriously had my doubts renting it, but I think that Jack Black is a very funny actor. All I needed was a good laugh and I got it. True, this is one of those "Dude, where's my brain?" movies. Sometimes you just need those though. The people I work with told me that this was a pretty stupid movie, and it is. But I think people shouldn't be in a serious mood for this movie. For an intelligent comedy or a good movie kind of day, no. This is not the movie for you, but if you need a meltdown after a hard day, then by all means give this movie a chance. It's really not that bad, and you get more than a few laughs. But still, if I were Colin Hank's character, I think I still would've wanted to go to Standford. :D 7/10
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brilliant cast with laugh after laugh
rth712 July 2003
With an amazing cast, dialogue that makes us really laugh, and a brilliant soundtrack, I can't believe this movie isn't rated higher! It's close to perfect - Colin Hanks, Schuyler Fisk, John Lithgow, Catherine O'Hara and Jack Black... what can you say??? Then there's the Chevy cameo and Kevin Kline! Please watch it again and upgrade your vote...
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Charming and unconventional - sort of like "orange" itself
Steve Pulaski4 August 2012
Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) is an abnormally bright child. A kid whose schoolwork comes naturally to him and grades were never something to sweat over. But instead of trying to lead an ambitious life, Shaun chooses to spend his days surfing and hanging out with his pals. But when his best friend Lonny is killed in a surfing accident, Shaun contemplates if this direction is the best one to pursue. He later discovers a novel, written by a man named Marcus Skinner, on the beach one day, reads it cover to cover, and loves every minute of it. Upon reading it a dozen more times, and practicing writing similar stories on his own, he realizes that he has a talent for writing and ultimately that's what he wants to become.

Shaun's homelife is a rather strange one. His parents are divorced, with his mother (Catherine O'Hara) being a sensitive, needy woman and his father (John Lithgow) a selfish and unruly cad. Shaun's brother is Lance (Jack Black), a portly stoner who is rarely seen fully clothed. Lance continues to offer advice to Shaun, which he will inherently disregard as rambling with no meaning, yet this isn't one of those stories where the dopey character may actually be smarter than we believe. He's just dumb.

Our hero's dream, however, is to get accepted to Stanford and major in journalism. His girlfriend, the neighborhood activist Ashley (Schuyler Fisk) is all support, but his chances seemingly plummet downward when his guidance counselor sends the wrong transcript to Stanford. Instead of the bright and dedicated student they should receive, the school accepts some ne'er-do-well stoner who applied on a whim.

Orange County follows Shaun as he tries in every which way to get accepted to Stanford and pursue a life of intellect and creativity. One thing that becomes the top priority on his list is escaping the inherently listless and seemingly mundane town of Orange County, where nobody takes anything with an ounce of seriousness and everyone seems to be self-indulgent and careless.

This is a film with a big agenda, a clear heart, but an often misunderstood soul, mainly because its headliner, Jack Black, doesn't deliver the laughs you would expect. Orange County is not an energetic, high-octane romp, but a sweet and endearing character study that is equal parts sly comedy and equal parts dramatic and deep. A scene comes early on in the film where Shaun is wasting away in a class and his teacher is asking the students if they know anyone who would be interested in speaking to the school about personal experiences. Shaun proposes a writer who has just received a high honor, but is quickly one-upped by another classmate who has connections to Brittney Spears. This scene illustrates so discretely and subtly how motivated and turned on we get as a society by popularity and publicity rather than true talent and admiration.

Colin Hanks, an actor still searching for that breakout role, handles the task here beautifully, even with the challenge and notable burden of carrying a lion's weight of a film on his back. He's no idiot. His character rarely misses a beat and is a calming and simple pleasure to endure. So is his brother, despite his slow, uninspiring persona. Orange County has an indescribable beauty and charm to its screenplay, one that offers an experience that is fresh and viable, and definitely unconventional.

Starring: Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Schuyler Fisk, Catherine O'Hara, John Lithgow, and Lily Tomlin. Directed by: Jake Kasdan.
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Very likable
drobak10 June 2003
Finally, a movie that rivals The Breakfast Club for watchability! Wonderful script and great acting! Jack Black is fun to watch and this script allows him to take full advantage of the zany character. Go into watching this movie for the pure entertainment (read laughter) value -- after all that's what movies are for.
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Hollow Peel
flyingcandy8 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie suffers from what many modern (post 2000) slacker comedies are stricken with: the "Anything Goes" syndrome. There are few bounds in this independent film directed by Jake "Son of Lawrence" Kasdan, featuring cameos from Chevy Chase, Lily Tomlin and Lawrence's own stock actor, Kevin Kline.

The story centers on a young man from... yep, Orange County, California, who spends his careless youth surfing and partying; then reads a book that "changes his life" and, along with a dream to become a writer, really wants to attend Stanford University to meet the book's author who works there.

Along the way this desire (i.e. the plot) is outshined by the wacky side-characters, including two Beavis and Buttheadish surfer pals; a drunk mother (Catherine O'Hara) married to a crippled old man; a selfish father (John Lithgow) married to a gorgeous young "trophy"; and a stoner brother played by Jack Black (who's not in the movie as much as is promoted) - all vying to outdo each other on screen.

When the main character - played by bland Colin Hanks, son of Tom - finally arrives at the college of his dreams, within ten minutes he's accidentally given the dean of admissions (a portly Harold Ramis) enough "X" to blind a horse, and to top it off, his zany drugged-out brother (using every stoner cliché in the book including the usual "WOW!") burns the admissions building to the ground.

Nothing really matters at this point, and yet we have another (drawn-out and totally useless) half-an-hour to go. All the things that should have been peripheral eccentricities, which end up leaping to the foreground of every scene, are symptoms of that disease I already mentioned: "Anything Goes"... Which can be, as in this case, fatal. That is, without that one cure, substance... Something this movie has very little of.
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george.schmidt18 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers

ORANGE COUNTY (2001) ***1/2 Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Schuyler Fisk, Catherine O' Hara, John Lithgow, George Murdock, Lillian Hurst, Carly Pope, Leslie Mann, Jane Adams, Garry Marshall, Dana Ivey, Mike White. (Cameos: Lily Tomlin, Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Ben Stiller, Kevin Kline) (Dir: Jake Kasdan)

Nepotism runs rampant - and guiltily so - as does a smorgasbord of big-time cameos by an incredibly eclectic assortment of onscreen talent in this hysterically funny comedy, the first of the new year and easily so far the first must-see.

First things first: yes the film stars Tom Hanks' son Colin (best known for his stint on tv's "Roswell" and in one of his dad's "Band of Brothers" episodes), Sissy Spacek's daughter Schuyler and is directed by filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan's son Jake but that shouldn't be a mitigating factor since all three have established their careers already and acquit themselves beautifully here in this rambunctiously outrageous comedy.

Colin (who has some uncanny characteristics if not his spitting image of his dad) stars as Sean Brumder, a beleaguered high school senior who's life is in turnaround in the titular zone of California's L.A. community where he discovers that surfing the good life isn't all that it's cracked up to be (especially after one of his good friends drowns in a surfing accident in a tsunami of "Perfect Storm" dimensions!) Sean's wake-up call comes about when he unearths (literally) a paperback copy of "Straight Jacket" a "Catcher in The Rye"-ish novel about the teenage condition that he absorbs whole-heartedly to the conclusion that becoming a writer will be his salvation. Sean makes it his life's work to get the hell out of the weighted down idiocy and primping caricatures of his current existence in high school with its share of bitchy cheerleaders (i.e. the Gina Gershon lite yet totally sexy hottie Pope); burn-outs and airheaded faculty members (White, who wrote the witty screenplays, co-stars as Sean's literature teacher who believe Shakespeare adaptations to include "Gladiator" among other mistakes. His solace and key to escape is applying to Stanford University that should be aced with his impeccable transcripts he enlists his guidance counselor (Tomlin in a dithering comic display of forgetfulness) who unbeknownst to him fails to submit his resume correctly. Sean's homelife only adds to his misery. His older brother Lance (the always welcome breath of anarchy, Black having a ball in sloth here), a perpetually stoned sloven couch potato and his besotted, slattern mom Cindy (the wonderful O' Hara) who is divorced from his money-hungry dad Bud (Lithgow as an indifferent insufferable stuffed shirt) and married to the elderly invalid Bob Beugler (Murdock). The only supportive one he can rely on is his girlfriend Ashley (Fisk who shares her mom's freckles and sweet optimism), an environmentalist granola and sandals type neohippie who wants to study in one of the community colleges instead, causing some unwarranted grief for Sean to overcome as well. When Sean discovers he's been turned down by Stanford due to his paperwork insufficiently forwarded he attempts several times to rectify the job and each time with escalating daisy chain of horrifyingly funny and outlandish sequence of events largely due to the well meaning but idiotic Lance.

The film works on a layered balance of clever dialogue, an engaging lead, a vastly talented ensemble of characters that must be seen to be believed, and a who's who of comic talent shining brightly in this highly engaging comedy of errors. Hanks shares his pop for gift in becoming apoplectic and channels him with his high voice in panic mode and on occasion resembles him in odd angles here and there. Black showcases his heir to the throne of slobs-with-hearts-of-gold as Lance, arguably the funniest stoner since Sean Penn's Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" with his unkempt hair, Nicholsonian eyebrows at full tilt and the body of Belushi via an Old Testament prophet in this latest incarnation of Gen X seediness. The laughs are plentiful and often come out of nowhere. White's screenplay is sneaky in its attacks and one liners (Lithgow calling his ex Coyote Ugly in one quick breath established a slew of laughter in the audience I attended) and Kasdan's assured yet unassuming camerawork allows slapstick on the peripheral - often out-of-focus- to eventually take over the proceedings at hand. It helps that both White and Kasdan collaborated before on the late, greatly lamented tv sitcom "Freaks & Geeks". A cash crop in a new year is a promising sign for comedy to come down the pike in quite some time.
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I Hid My Face in Shame as I Left the Theater
theCardiffGiant23 January 2002
This flick confirmed many lingering suspicions, and none too pleasant: 1) Jack Black is a great comedic character actor who can easily be strangled by a poor script (he's at his best when he can bounce off of comedy writers like David Cross and Bob Odenkirk); 2)anything produced by MTV pictures is destined to suck; 3) an all-star cast (John Lithgow, Kevin Kline, Catherine O'Hara, Harold Ramis, Chevy Chase, Lily Tomlin) should be a signal that the material can't stand on its own.

What else can we expect from a parent company whose idea of "music television" is softcore porn (_Undressed_) and _the Real World_ in a Winnebago (_Road Rules_)?

This is one of those rare cases where if you've seen the commercials you haven't seen the movie. You know how ads nowadays tend to give away all of the jokes? Not this one. And for two reasons: 1) there are very few jokes, and 2) most scenes in the ads aren't even in the movie ("I'm this guy...I'm not getting into your college...," "You have to make love to the camera, like 'Hey Stanford, what's up? You want some of this? You know you do'," etc. -- not in the movie!)

The ad campaign makes you think that this is a comedic romp about a kid trying to get into college, and the slacker brother who helps along the way. The two could have been a great team, Colin Hanks as the straight man, Jack Black as the character he is. But this was not a comedy. This was heart-warming pablum masquerading as entertainment.

Everything comes together in the end in the most predictable of ways. Everyone learns a valuable lesson, the sick are healed, the heavens part, and the soundtrack is on sale at your local record store. And that's what really matters, now isn't it? I won't give anything away though, because the plot will reveal itself immediately.

You need to know this, though: the movie was written by Mike White. At first you might think, "_Chuck and Buck_...critical praise...independent film." But he also wrote _Dawson's Creek_ and the film _Dead Man on Campus_. And it shows.

And as bizarre as this is, the song "Butterfly" by Crazy Town, was featured three times with no explanation. First you have a scene break and suddenly there are these "teen movie" cheerleaders doing a choreographed dance to the song, all looking into the camera like a music video as if to say, "I want you now, 15 year old in the audience. I was put into this movie to distract you from this films many faults."

Later, Colin's girlfriend is singing the song to herself with her headphones on, in a scene that was only put in the movie to introduce a dog (following the formulaic nature of the film, the producers must have said, "people loved the dog in _There's Something About Mary_... we need a crazy dog too").

And lastly Colin meets a new girl who invites him to the obligatory college party. Suddenly "Butterfly" begins to play and she and her friends go nuts screaming, "it's our song!" They proceed to do the same choreographed dance as the cheerleaders, looking seductively into the camera. And you watch this and ask yourself why? What does this have to do with the movie? It's clearly an attempt to sell this song as the lead single of the film.

I'm thinking of writing Jack Black to get my $6 back. He got $2 million for this pile of garbage. He can afford it.
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taratingers13 January 2002
I have seen the movie Orange County,brace your self,4 times!I saw it the day it came out,the next day(saturday),and the next day on Sunday twice!It may sound obsessive but I loved that movie.It has a great cast,plot,screenplay,characters,and outline.It stars my all time favorite actor the son of the wonderful Tom Hanks,Colin Hanks,also jack black,catherine o` hara,john lithgow,and schuyler fisk.It also has many camio`s by Ben Stiller,Kevin Kline,Chevy Chase,and lily tomlin.It is a light hearted movie with so many great laughs that will leave you on the floor and cracking-up.It does not have those gross jokes only one or two.The acting is very good and by the end of the movie you will love all the characters.I hope that you will enjoy this movie and not put in down like all the critics have.ORANGE COUNTY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!
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'Orange' is blue in comedy
smla026 January 2003
** 1/2

Starring: Colin Hanks, Schuyler Fisk, Jack Black, and Catherine O' Hara.

A smart teenager's transcript is switched with the wrong guy, and when it's sent to Stanford, guess who gets accepted. That's right, the guy who didn't even apply there. The over-achieving genius and his drug-addicted brother travel to Stanford to get things straight and get him into college.

Jack Black and Colin Hanks do the best they can to make this blue comedy funny. When I say it's blue in comedy, I mean it lacks it. The movie has a funny plot and funny cameos, but it isn't funny enough to give the film three stars.

It's close, but not quite.
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Mildly entertaining if somewhat way overdone "comedy"!
JohnHowardReid30 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In my opinion, a movie comedy needs more than just an endless cast of characters who are such confirmed idiots that everything they say and do is either laughably stupid or so totally haywire that they never learn from the appalling results of their stupidity, but go on making the same blunders from first to last. Not only do they never wake up to themselves, the very few normal people they come into contact with, do virtually nothing to put them right.

True, there seem to be only three or four normal people in the whole of Orange County, and they have very, very, very, very minor roles. Just about all the main characters are full-blown idiots, and those few support characters who are not full-blown idiots could well be described as half-blown idiots who should make some efforts to wake up to themselves. True, in many cases they are usually somewhat amusing, but in my opinion clowns, half-wits and dopes need to be surrounded by plenty of normal, everyday people, if only for contrast, let alone verisimilitude!

The normal people need not be geniuses. In fact, they may not even be very bright, but they are not going to quickly slip on the carpet or immediately fall down the stairs, or tumble off a ladder as soon as they mount three or four rungs, or inevitably crash their cars as soon as they sit in the driver's seat, or accidentally set a huge building on fire by lighting a match.

To sum up, in my opinion, brain diseases are not something to inspire hilarity. True, I laughed at some of the catastrophic episodes, but I feel guilty about it.
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Alright. Nothing spectacular
studioAT10 March 2017
What happens if you really want to leave your small town you grew up in for something bigger? That's the question that this film from 2002 asks.

This really is a typical Hollywood comedy. Easy enough viewing without ever being great.

It has it's moments, mostly those featuring a young Jack Black, but apart from that it's very predictable fair. Colin Hanks is an amiable enough lead, in a role that Tom Hanks ironically would have been playing in the 80's.

I can't say I overly enjoyed this film, but it passed the time.
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A young intelligent boy who dreams of getting into Stanford
Brittany Blevins17 December 2014
I must say out of all the comedies I have ever seen in my life Orange County was by far the best one! I could not stop laughing the whole time, the acting in this movie is phenomenal I feel all the actors did such a great job on their part in the movie. The movie starts out with a young but very intelligent guy who is about to be a high school graduate but he doesn't care about school at this point nothing but hanging out with his friends and partying until Shaun discovers a book on the beach written by an author named Marcus Skinner that moves something deep inside him that encourages him to want to become this professional writer Shaun then makes it his mission to get into Stanford and to meet Marcus Skinner in person. Shaun has so many personal issues among his terrible dysfunctional family that causes so much chaos throughout the movie. His brother is played by the famous Jack black who is the person who truly makes the movie so interesting and funny. Shaun has a girlfriend that tries to help him along the way to get into Stanford but somehow terrible things keep happening but if you will stay tuned you will fall in love with this movie, it has great humor and it will be a movie that you will be talking about for years to come don't miss out on this one! I don't want to put any spoilers in here so there is a lot of detail left out but there is enough in here to show you what the main plot is in the movie, hope anyone that watches will enjoy.
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One of My All Time Favorite Comedies; A Classic
Josh Anderson28 November 2012
How this movie has an average rating of 6.1 at the time of me writing this review is beyond me. The semi-serious base story of Shaun, a high schooler trying to get into Stanford is a good enough drama on its own, but then you ad the social commentary (albeit exaggerated...maybe)on the southern California mindset with an all star cast including Jack Black Lily Tomlin and Chevy Chase the movie becomes outrageously funny. I think Colin Hanks is an excellent actor (I have no idea why he has all but disappeared in the last 10 years), and does a bang up job of being the one kid in school who actually cares about his education all the while being pulled away by his numb-skull surfer buddies. Another of the cast who seems to have disappeared is Schuylar Fisk who plays Shaun's girlfriend Ashley. Ashley is the overly positive sweetheart girlfriend who will support Shaun through thick and thin. This is honestly one of Jack Black's funniest performances. He plays Shaun's druggie dead beat brother and when he gets mixed up in Shaun's quest for Stanford, hilarity compounds! Even 10 years after the movie was released I still laugh out loud watching this!
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The start of a new breed of Coming of Age tales.
SimplyMillerable31 July 2011
Where as this isn't an original Coming of Age story, "Orange County" brings about a dynamic story line, that transforms the classic Coming of Age tale, into a new breed that similar movies follow in it's footsteps such as "Sex Drive" and "I Love You Beth Cooper".

With an intricate set of characters, including a very hairy Jack Black, and a dilemma that has even the main character worried whats not to love about "Orange County".

Had me laughing, and truly enthralled in the characters and what scheme they were going to come up with next.

Not only does this movie have a developed story line but it is filled with an all star cast such as Colin Hanks and Jack Black, with some special appearances from John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun) and Chevy Chase (Caddyshack).

Like I said before truly a new comical breed or the Coming of Age tale.
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What drugs do I need to take to enjoy this piece of crap?
mike647920 May 2006
Orange County is a fine example of why nepotism can be dangerous. Colin Hanks has little discernible talent and the female lead, who I guess is Sissy Spacek's daughter, in neither attractive or a good actress. I rented this movie because I think Jack Black is hilarious. For this atrocity, though, he should be ashamed. The commercials for this movie were funnier than the actual movie. I can't think of one time during the entire film that I actually laughed. The cast was lame and the script was poorly written, which is ironic because it's a movie about a supposedly brilliant writer tying to get into Stanford. I don't know what college the writer of this film went to, but if i had to guess, it would probably have "community" somewhere in its name. If you want to see a good coming of age comedy, see Dazed and Confused.
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What an amuzing witty hilariousness!!!!!!!
psyli5 May 2003
Wow, this movie is really crazy...It's very sarcastic about many social issues. If you don't get the joke then you might totally miss the points...the points of the jokes of course. I like the way the scenes are shot. Depending on emotional connotation of some particular scene the speed of different angels switches around in interesting patterns...Anywho, there aren't that many movies that I'm willing to watch out there, but this movie is one of my picks.
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I will eat your face!!!
DJAkin14 April 2004
That is what John Lithgow said to somebody in this brilliant Jack Black film. I loved the part where Jack Black jumped into the pool to save his brother. Jack's legs were all moving around like an insect. Super funny. I also liked the part where Jack Black called his brother "Broseph" Haha, that is funny, it rhymes with Joseph. The main character, played by Tom Hank's son, was good. He looked very odd in many scenes though and was a little over the top with his obsession with that book that Kevin Kline wrote. Kevin Kline was BORN for that role as the PROFESSOR!!! He was BRILLIAN!! However, the best performance of this movie would have to go to my hero, JACK BLACK...who was litereally a bum!!! HAHA!! Way to go Jack Black, you delivered the goods again!!!
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It was super-fantastically tremendous...
T Y3 April 2004
One could spend an afternoon of entertainment on IMDb reading all the reviews below for this excrescence and guessing which ones were written by a) studio plants, b) friends of the Hanks family.

This movie has "called-in favors" written all over it. Cronies of Tom Hanks, and anyone famous who owed him five bucks, from the looks of it, could have their debts forgiven if they appeared in this failed effort to launch son Colin Hanks film career. This is the tripe Hollywood produces when untalented people are told they are talented. To perversely underscore the movies unintended, super-amplified "danger of nepotism" message, it's directed by the son of Lawrence Kasdan.

The big ending where Colin decides to bail on college (the motivation you were supposed to care about for the duration of the film!) might seem like a viable message to someone who owes his ability to get the lead role in a film to the influence of his famous parents. Instead of being poignant, the switcharoo is a self-critique delivered by Colin Hanks about the worthlessness of achievements you didn't actually earn. That conclusion might make an undeserving shill feel swell, but after an hour and a half of pained "drama-dy" it's the final indictment of the cluelessness of all involved.

The genetic mix of Tom Hanks doughy average features superimposed over Mrs. Hanks horsey mandibles is the story of genetics struggling to appear photogenic. Colin Hanks has zero presence and his visual ordinariness is the constant reminder that he in no way deserves this tailor-made movie. No surprise that they chose to cover most of his face with oranges, on the poster. Maye you thought someone else was the star. As you watch this movie, keep in mind the throngs of talented unknowns, who might have deserved this much exposure.

Does Catherine O'Hara ever know what the hell she is doing on film? (See her heinous perf in Home Fries, the actual worst movie ever made) Jack Black became an official sell-out with this movie.
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What are friends for?
Michael O'Keefe15 August 2003
A wacky, manic movie about a California stoner-turned-scholar(Colin Hanks) being turned down by Stanford University. He is desperate enough to enlist the help of his girlfriend(Schuyler Fisk) and his totally stoned brother(Jack Black)for alternate ways to be accepted after the usual process failed him. Interesting array of veteran talent try to make this little movie something to remember. Adding the punch to the cast are: Chevy Chase, John Lithgow and Catherine O'Hara. A very enjoyable soundtrack helps move the story along. Some pretty good tunes from the Foo Fighters, Red Five, Ivy, Brian Wilson and the Phantom Planet.
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