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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.39%
Worth A Look53.16%
Average: 21.52%
Pretty Bad: 8.86%
Total Crap: 5.06%

6 reviews, 43 user ratings

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Orange County
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by PyThomas

"Slick, formulaic, half-predictable... then again, so is the county itself."
3 stars

Show me a city with tons of cool attractions, really picturesque scenery, or miles of seemingly endless beaches, and I'll show you a resident of that city who's bored sick of everything in it. Indeed, that's how it was with me and my hometown of Galveston, but this film ain't called "Galveston County".

It's got everything to do with Orange County, that white-bread collection of towns just southeast of Los Angeles. (Since it's in California, would that make it white PITA bread?) Home to Disneyland, Taco Bell, baseball's Angels, hockey's Mighty Ducks, shopping malls out the ass, a dozen surfwear companies and lots of Reagan Youth. Then again, it IS home to the Offspring and No Doubt. (Hey, any friend of Sublime is a friend of mine.) Sounds like a cool place to live... until you meet someone who was born and raised there.

Poor Shaun Brumder (Colin "Son of Gump" Hanks). He's so sick and tired of that Orange County life, with all the shallowness and vapidness surrounding him. And despite having a non-shallow, non-vapid girlfriend (Schuyler "Daughter of Carrie" Fisk), he wants to get out real bad, and his college choice is a hell of an opportunity. His only choice for higher education is Stanford, miles away in the Bay Area, but all his enrollment efforts turn up futile. His high school transcripts get lost in the system, an interview with an influential Stanford alumnus is spoiled by his embarrassing family members, and he can't seem to get in touch with a professor (Kevin "You'd Think I'd Be Tired Of Playing College Professors By Now" Kline) who could probably help get him in. Ultimately Shaun, his girlfriend Ashley, and his stoned-n-sloppy brother Lance (Jack "Tenacious D" Black), take a road trip up to Stanford to put his transcripts personally in the right hands. When they finally arrive at Shaun's "promised land", though, he finds out that it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

"Orange County" would have been a better-than-average comedy, especially considering all the schlock out there that passes for comedy. Though the supporting characters seem two-dimensional, the leads are totally fleshed out (Shaun's a surfer who - whoa! - doesn't talk like Bill & Ted) and the script does take quite a few smart turns. BUT - and there's a big BUT - the writers just HAD to throw in a horrible cliche as old as the Laguna Hills: a breakup scene between Shaun and Ashley, later followed by the usual groveling of the man in the relationship, the old "I'm sorry, I love you" routine. There was just no reason for that - it was totally unnecessary to the plot, and to make matters worse, it really looked like it was shoehorned into the script at the last minute. Is there an unwritten law in Hollywood that all comedies involving relationships HAVE to include a storyline like that? After seeing this, I'm really beginning to believe so.

So yeah, this is a great film that, because of one little fuck-up, gets bumped down to being just a good film. Somebody needs to tell these script writers that you don't HAVE to use the tired old cliches anymore.

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originally posted: 01/02/03 14:02:29
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User Comments

10/08/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Movie! 5 stars
10/08/07 KNurse This is Jack Black at his best....burn the mother down!LMAO 4 stars
9/29/07 Derek Entertaining, Engaging and Funny. Well Worth Watching. A Fine Teen Movie. 4 stars
7/22/07 dt not much new here, not really funny 2 stars
3/30/07 fools♫gold "Graduate"-inspired teen comedy that finally deserves the title "comedy". Rounds up to 5/5. 5 stars
11/18/06 AJ Muller very funny flick; the cast/direction rocks and the script is pitch-perfect. 4 stars
1/14/06 WiseMan This deserves a higher rating, i loved this movie, i watched it 10 times 5 stars
1/03/06 cody jack black is only thing funny about this retarded and corny comedy 2 stars
8/18/05 John Aster Habig Hilarious comedy about teenage ambition plus the white/black team is magic 5 stars
6/02/05 JFK great comedy, hillarious. Jack Black rules! 4 stars
3/26/05 Denise funny 3 stars
2/19/05 april gupton real good, funny 4 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Some funny scenes, defninitely a movie for Black fans. 3 stars
2/09/05 Kelly Greenwood boring 1 stars
2/03/05 Clifford C Gardner Better than I expected 4 stars
2/02/05 Tammera Mack okay 4 stars
4/04/03 Hannah I loved it. 5 stars
1/04/03 Annoymous quite good 4 stars
1/03/03 Sommersby Brightly acted; underwhelmingly rendered. 2 stars
12/30/02 John Aster Habig a story hope and hopelessness Black and Hanks work terrificly together 5 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 Jack Black was awesome, but the story was bad and so were the other actors. 3 stars
10/07/02 Ashley Boring. More of Jack Black would have made it better. To say the least...IT SUCKED! 2 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Total wank. Dull as shit. 1 stars
8/27/02 Judd Hughes Makes 80s teen movies look like 'Citizen Kane'. 3 stars
8/19/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) Lots of fun. Out of all the stars, Jack Black is hands-down the greatest; the next Belushi. 4 stars
8/14/02 Bryan Brooks Even J.B. cant save this one. Just not funny at all. 2 stars
8/06/02 Fish Eye Underated movie. Not only is it funny, but it's also a good move. Jack Black is hilarious 4 stars
6/26/02 Film Guy Surprisingly a good funny film 4 stars
6/20/02 spyguy2 Not as good as I hoped...looking forward to Shallow Hal, that has got to be funnier right? 3 stars
3/23/02 Natalie Stonecipher Seems like a Farrelly wannabe. Cute at times, ultimately taking self a bit too seriously. 4 stars
1/21/02 none funny movie...when jack black was pretty sappy at times...but jack black was funny 4 stars
1/19/02 The Bomb 69 funny and well written, good but not great 4 stars
1/18/02 bobo justus the 5 santa ana fwy from anaheim to like tustin is always congested! 2 stars
1/17/02 kishuta Simple, yet well performed. 4 stars
1/16/02 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Gee, do you think amovie can be made without celebrity kids? 2 stars
1/15/02 Marcus Skinner A movie that portrays some simple yet oft-overlooked values in life. Plus Jack Black!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/15/02 willyp even stoners will not chuckle. i am not hard to please! 1 stars
1/14/02 J I might give it a 5 in the future, but right now I'll go with M.F and Eric on giving it a 4 4 stars
1/14/02 bobbuttons jack black is fucking awesome 5 stars
1/13/02 Wee Funny ass movie! 5 stars
1/11/02 Joe The review is spot on. A very funny movie. 4 stars
1/09/02 Robert Surprisingly humorous and clever, if a bit cheesy at the end. Jack Black steals the show. 4 stars
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  11-Jan-2002 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Jake Kasdan

Written by
  Mike White

  Colin Hanks
  Jack Black
  Chevy Chase
  John Lithgow
  Lily Tomlin
  Harold Ramis

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