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ORANGE COUNTY

 
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At Theaters: 1/11/2002 On Video: 6/18/2002
Rated: PG-13 Length: 1 hr. 23 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 379906
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Shaun has a serious love of surfing but a friend's freak surfing accident causes Shaun to reassess things, and as he ponders, he discovers a treasure. Buried in the familiar sand is a copy of Marcus Skinner's novel Straight Jacket. He reads it, and re-reads it, obsessively. Epiphany strikes. His destiny is not on a surfboard. He has a new passion. He wants to be a writer.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy - A typical teen comedy, but with only a small amount of gross humor and drinking/drugs/sex. Will likely appeal to older teens and possibly some younger adults.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Colin Hanks GET OVER IT, WHATEVER IT TAKES
Jack Black SHALLOW HAL, SAVING SILVERMAN, HIGH FIDELITY
Catherine O'Hara HOME FRIES
Schuyler Fisk THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB, MY FRIEND JOE
John Lithgow SHREK, RUGRATS IN PARIS
Lily Tomlin THE KID
Wri/Dir: Jake Kasdan ZERO EFFECT
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Production Notes Heading
Production Information
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 1 F-word, 2 GD's, 1 S-word, a few milder ones.
SEX/NUDITY: Only one very short/mild scene. (dog humping leg)
VIOLENCE: None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: One character is shown drinking and smoking dope.
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Quite a bit of juvenile humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Good

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Very Good "...they just as well may have grabbed their bit parts because they wisely admired the uniquely warped but maturely tolerant worldview of Mike White (''Chuck & Buck''), who wrote the script. Arriving amid the traditionally withered harvest of January releases, ''Orange County'' is peachy.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Good "Orange County has the form of a teenage movie, the spirit of an independent comedy, and the subversive zeal of Jack Black. It's one of those movies where the description can't do justice to the experience. It will sound like the kind of movie that, if you are over 17, you don't usually go to see. But it isn't.''

Newsday  Full Review
Good "A pleasant surprise, this comedy about a Southern California college aspirant (Colin Hanks) and his so-called life is an old-fashioned screwball satire of generational mores, cloaked in newfangled teen-flick gloss. Jack Black more than adequately fulfills his duty as the designated slacker-slob-doper.''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Below Average "A well-meaning misfire, this SoCal coming-of-age tale tries to be both a broad teen farce and a sensitive family drama. If you can imagine the Hallmark Hall of Fame version of AMERICAN PIE, you can see why this doesn't work.''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 177 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
48
Very High
100%
13-19Teens (F)
37
High
95%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
46
High
96%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
25
About 50/50
76%
30+Adults (M)
9
About 50/50
78%
30+Adults (F)
12
Fairly Low
58%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Most males under age 30 enjoyed "Orange County," giving it some pretty high ratings. Only about half of the females under age 30 enjoyed the movie to some degree. Adults, both male and female, only gave it average to below average reviews.

If you're a teen male then I can recommend "Orange County." Chances are good that you will enjoy it, but you probably won't think it's great. For teen females, you will also have a decent chance of enjoying this movie, but you also probably won't think it's great.

To adults I would say you're probably better off going to see one of the other fine movies out right now such as "A Beautiful Mind" or "The Majestic." But, if you've got teens and you want to make this a family night at the movies, you will likely find "Orange County" to be somewhat entertaining and not too embarrassing for a teen movie.

Publisher Comments: (before opinions collected)
A fairly typical teen comedy, but with fairly minimal amounts of gross humor, drinking, drugs and virtually no sexual content. I guess I would say it's a bit more sophisticated than most teen movies. It's a decent movie, but certainly not great. I would predict that most of the opinions will come in pretty high, but there will be quite a few in the average to above average range. For older teens it would make a very good date movie. Some adults may find it enjoyable.

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D ETAILED S TORYLINE
An affable teenager with a serious love of surfing, Shaun's aspirations are only as high as the perfect wave. He has good buddies and a sweet girlfriend, and while his family has its eccentricities, overall his life is pretty good.

That idyllic existence changes irrevocably one day. A friend's freak surfing accident causes Shaun to reassess things, and as he ponders, he discovers a treasure. Buried in the familiar sand, almost as if it is waiting for Shaun, is a copy of Marcus Skinner's novel Straight Jacket. He reads it ... and re-reads it, obsessively. Epiphany strikes. His destiny is not on a surfboard. He has a new passion. Shaun Brumder wants to be a writer.

He swiftly composes a story and sends it to his new idol, Marcus Skinner, who teaches at Stanford University. Shaun hopes to study there under Skinner and, amazingly, he has a good shot. He trades surfing for classes. His extracurricular activities become more college-friendly. His grades improve. His high school transcript is impeccable and his SAT scores are terrific. The letter from Stanford finally comes. Stanford University has rejected Shaun Brumder.

Shaun is devastated. How could this happen? A little investigation leads to a big mistake, courtesy of his high school guidance counselor. Undeterred, Shaun will find a way to fix this, even though he only has 24 hours to do it. He simply has to get into Stanford, especially now that he sees the horror that is his life in Orange County: an over- emotional, co-dependent mother who is constantly unhinged by the thought of his leaving home, a distant, critical father who thinks his son's dream of becoming a writer is ridiculous, an impulsive brother, Lance, whose chemically enhanced and often unbalanced existence is just, well, infuriating. Is he even related to these people?

Yes, he is. In their own dysfunctional, alarming way, they all try to help him on his quest to get to Stanford. While his family's unusual assistance may unnerve him, in the end, Shawn Brumder learns some important lessons that can't be taught at any school.

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