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Still shot from the movie: Orange County.

Orange County

Shawn Brumder's (Colin Hanks) hopes for college are squelched when the school guidance counselor sends the wrong transcripts. His dysfunctional and addiction-hampered family members struggle to rally behind him in this film laden with drug, sexuality and language concerns. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C-
Violence: C
Sexual Content: D+
Language: D
Drugs/Alcohol: D-
Theater Release: 10 Jan 2002
Video Release: 17 Jun 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Orange County (2002) - Official siteShaun Brumber's (Colin Hanks) sole ambition is to be a writer--and a good one. Eager to study with his favorite author (Kevin Kline), he applies to Stanford University. But a computer mis-click by an airhead guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin) sends the wrong (and considerably less stellar) transcripts to the school's administration office. Determined to get out of Orange County, the aspiring novelist rushes off to Stanford with his drugged-out brother (Jack Black) behind the wheel to try and re-write the wrong.

Orange County (2002) - Official site But if things at home look bad with an alcoholic mother (Catherine O'Hara), elderly and highly medicated stepfather, prattling housekeeper, money hungry father (John Lithgow), wanton 20-something stepmom, and a couple of laid back boarding buddies, the plot is about to thicken.

With some help from his girlfriend Ashley (Schuyler Fisk), Shaun finds the university's dean of admissions. However, a few unplanned (and drug related) incidents leave his chances for acceptance burning in a pile of rubble.

Orange County (2002) - Official siteUnfortunately Orange County seems to have suffered from a few mis-clicks on the word processor too. The script spends most of its time relying on sexual quips and dysfunctional family situations for the bulk of its humor. Jack Black's character, seen most often in briefs and socks, waddles through the entire film in a chemically enhanced state of mind while O'Hara guzzles booze from one scene to the next. Both addictions are laughed off with little more than a roll of the eyes. Sexual encounters, although mostly limited to full-body kissing and "after" scenes, portray some homosexual and lesbian activities. Language concerns include explicit and crude sexual terms and hand gestures, leaving the movie's chances for family acceptance going up in smoke.

Following in their parents' footsteps, Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek), and Hanks (whose famous father Tom has played many multi-faceted characters--Cast Away, You've Got Mail), may be proof that genetics don't count for everything. Even with an orchard of famous comedians (Chevy Chase, Ben Stiller, Harold Ramis) lending their faces, this is one film that doesn't deserve any navel gazing.

Orange County is rated PG-13:

Cast: Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O'Hara
Studio: 2002 Paramount Pictures

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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