Orange County


Here ‘s another movie I wish I’d seen at the time it was released. Unfortunately, since Orange County was fresh and new  (13 years ago – I probably should learn not to wait a decade to watch films…) I have seen the equivalent film about ten times. It’s pretty much every angsty boy goes to college movie you’ve ever seen but with cool cameos. It was great seeing Lily Thomlin, Chevy Chase, Kevin Kline and Harold Ramis going hard at the comedy acting. It’s a good film and it’s fun but it’s not new to me.

Also, OC has Jack Black being very Jack Black which isn’t particularly clever but is very Jack Black so it’s kind of funny but you’ll have seen it before. His tighty whiteys (floppy yellowies really) should have been a credited character you see so much of them. (I think they would be called Jock Jaundice.) May I never see them or their ilk again…

Colin Hanks plays a really likeable young man with a neurotic streak the size of a cow and a girlfriend who is way too innocent and way too good for him. The initial mix up that sees our young hero denied access to his college of choice plays the role of causing generalised mayhem as his girlfriend, father and brother (the aforementioned Jock Jaundice – sorry Jack Black…) move money, blackmail, a van, heaven and earth to get him in. Eventually everything turns out heaps good, which is nice.

I loved seeing Harold Ramis playing the Dean of Admissions and taking the “aspirin” from JB’s pocket was gorgeous. It’s so sad that he’s not with us any more he really is a delight to watch on screen. His comic timing is genuinely perfect.

Colin Hanks is  almost totally overshadowed  by everyone around him which is, I suppose, the point. He can’t find himself  or his place in the world while surrounded by those who are taking up their space in the world so loudly and dramatically.

I loved his alcoholic mother who loves him so much yet manages to constantly make his life hell. I love that she’s secretly happy when he doesn’t make it into college and quietly enjoys Jack Black’s stoner lifestyle and jaundiced knickers. I think I’m going to be like that – not liking yellowed undies, yich! – always wanting my kids to be around every day! Hopefully, I won’t become an alcoholic in the lead up to that though.

Orange County is a clever version of lots of other movies you’ve seen about starting, being at, dropping out of or living through college while you’re dysfunctional family stuffs up, is overbearing, drunken, drugged up or accidently giving the Dean of Admissions ecstasy but with way more Jack Black and a little too much Jock Jaundice.


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