Saturday, November 30, 2013

Movie Review - The Oranges

Hello again, just in time for the holiday season I bring you my review of The Oranges.

The Oranges is an off-beat comedy about two families living in the suburbs of New Jersey.  It follows the families through a major changing point in their lives.

We start the film by introducing the two fathers Terry (Oliver Platt) and David (Hugh Laurie).  They are best friends that live across the street from each other.  Their families have grown up together and they are as close as any neighbours could be.  Terry and his wife Paige (Catherine Keener) are in a rough patch in their relationship, when Terry's 24 year old daughter Nina comes home for Thanksgiving.

Nina's meddling mother Cathy (Allison Janney) is busy trying to set her up with David's son Toby (Adam Brody).  When Nina goes over to hang out with Toby, he ends up passing out on the couch.  Since Toby is asleep, Nina wanders through the house and finds David.  They soon realize there is chemistry between them, and when they act on that chemistry the film gets quite interesting.

The rest of the movie has David and Nina trying to work things out between them, her parents, and David's other two children.  It is a funny, yet moving film about how quickly lives can be changed forever.  The film always manages to feels quite real, and it is never boring.

Things don't go as you might expect they would in this film.  There were a few of time where I expected the film would go a certain direction, but I was pleasantly surprised when it did not.  As you would expect, there are a few uncomfortable moments, but overall I found the film quite entertaining.

The acting in this film is top notch, which is good considering in a film like this the acting is the center point of the whole movie.  Since there are no special effects or CGI it stands to reason that the acting becomes key.  The actors really make the characters come to life.  You feel like you are living in the neighborhood with these people watching their lives unfold.

Since I am married to a costumer I need to point out the costumes in the film.  While nothing spectacular, when compared to a period piece (Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Labyrinth) they are still quite well thought out.  Every character has on clothing that seems appropriate.  The costumes always match the scenes in which they are being worn as well.  Formal clothing for formal situations and casual for casual situations.

If you are looking for a film that will make you think, and feel then this is certainly a great choice for you.  If you like comedies that are a touch uncomfortable to watch then you should pick this one up right now.  No, really got out and rent a copy because this is comic gold.

As everyone knows I am a huge stickler for how a movie ends.  If you have not read any of my previous reviews then I will restate this fact.  The ending of a movie is perhaps the most important part of the film for me.  The ending can make a crappy movie good, or make an amazing movie into a steaming pile of dung.  This film had a very realistic ending, which suits this movie quite well.  Having given it some though it really seems like the most logical ending I could imagine.

I would rate this film four smiley Mike heads, but when you add in the great acting and interesting subject matter I have to rate this film four and a half out of five smiley Mike heads.

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