|Orange County (2002) [English (MPEG Layer III, 138 kBit/s, 48 kHz, Stereo)]
Length: 1h 22m 0s
Director: Jake Kasdan
Tagline: It's not just a place. It's a state of mind.
Plot outline: 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. Summary written by Matthew Patay
Comment: Spoilers herein. Another of a long line of films that uses this trick: a writer writes a story that becomes the movie you see. The only mild flavoring of the template is to give it the tone of Brian Wilson's plaintive harmonies. In the formula, the story is already written before the movie starts, except for the ending. The movie turns into quest for that ending which reaches its climax when the end of the story so far and the action of the movie coincide. In this film, that is the point when Mom and Dad get back together; Bob suffers a recovery; Jack Black and Jane Adams have hot sex; The head ghostbuster gets stoned; And our young writer meets his virtual mentor (who frees him from his `Straight Jacket'). There's also a lost plot element about a couple dogs. Young writer discovers that Stanford is not the place to go if you want to be a great writer. Duh. The supposedly wicked humor is that staying in doper plasticville is. And that's where this film stays. This is well-trod territory, worthy of an apprentice film. But it can be nobly crafted: `the Tempest' is just this. The people behind this project were not ignorant of the implications, so they collected some people with some modicum of intelligence (except the director) about the ideas. Much has been made of Ms Fisk being Spacek's daughter. But Sissy is just an actress. Much more important is Schuyler's father who is the visual partner of the two most intelligent working American directors: Lynch and Malick. These guys obsess about the narrative of the film being created by the characters in the film. Add to that two really intelligent actresses: Adams and Mann, though they are ultimately wasted. Jane Adams was `Wonder Boys' Oola, and also was in `Anniversary Party,' `Mrs Parker,' and `Kansas City,' each of which address this idea. The only competent directing in the film is when Black and Adams are together. Jane was also key to `Songcatcher' which was about this same notion, except with songs. Leslie Mann was in `Timecode,' and `Perfume,' the last of which greatly resembles this project. Jack Black, you will recall, was best in `High Fidelity,' which is the only recent comedy that successfully walks this trail. in this vein of self-referential writing and teen comedy, `Get Over It' had its problems but was vastly more ambitious and interesting. It follows this trail. Follow the trail by the signposts: the extended goof on writers and movies and popular figures in the class and with the Chevy Chase principal; then to the two stagy girly dances; then to the guy at the frat party who also is a `writer.' But as we move through one episode to another they never add. I don't think much of Cameron Crowe, but at least he could do that. Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Subtitels: No ()