Orange County (2002)

Poor guy, all he wants to do is to get into Stanford, what’s so wrong with that.

High schooler Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) dreams of getting himself out of the surf and sun of Orange County and knows that his best shot is college. But when a flaky guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin) sends another student’s transcript to Stanford University and Shaun gets rejected, he has 24 hours to convince the dean that he’s not who he seems. Desperate, he enlists the help of his slacker brother Lance (Jack Black).

Orange County is produced by MTV films, and what was expected was a film that heavily lies on very sleazy fart and sex jokes. However, this film is probably one of the smarter MTV films, even if it is just a tiny bit sleazy.

The film’s direction is very fresh and talented. I liked how many of the jokes were actually very good and could be understood by all crowds and would probably be laughed at. Much of the humor derives from quirky and at times highly off-beat, that is sensible and never gets carried away.

I do think a lot of this film was very over-the-top and unrealistic. Many of the situations these characters were put in, though funny but highly unrealistic, and wouldn’t resolve in average ordinary life. Also some of the film can turn out to be very flat and not all that funny as it tries hard to be. This film is also way too short with a run time of only 82 minutes, I still felt that there could’ve been more added to this film to make it memorable.

Most of the laughs come mostly from the performances and characters that lie within. Colin Hanks and Lily Tomlin both have charming performances in this film, but the one who really blows this film out of the water is Jack Black. Jack Black gives an iconic performance as the sort of Gen X stoner brother who is such a loser, but he reminds me a lot like this generation’s Belushi and could easily well be one of the best comedians in the business and he shows it in this film. John Lithgow and Catherine O’Hara though not very believable, were hilarious in this film and made every scene they had count.

Consensus: Though not very memorable, Orange County is genuinely funny in most places and is actually smarter than what you would expect from a typical MTV film.


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