Mike Kueber's Blog

December 15, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies #93 – The Oranges

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 5:29 am
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I’ve gone from one unloved box-office flop – Not Fade Away – to another – The Oranges.  The two movies share several similarities:

  • Both movies focused on kids growing up in NYC exurbia.
  • Both movies were fronted by an adult TV star – Not Fade Away had James Gandolfini while The Oranges has Hugh Laurie.
  • Both movies were first shown at a film festival before a limited release that returned pennies on the dollar of their original cost, with The Oranges returning only $366k returned on a cost of $7 million.

At least the critics liked Not Fade Away (70% approval).  Only 33% of the critics liked The Oranges.  I agree with the 33%.

The Oranges is about two interesting couples and their kids.  Their seemingly idyllic existence is blown-up when one of their prodigal children returns home and kindles a romantic interest in one of the parents.  The prodigal is Leighton Meester (she is every bit as good as Bella Heathcoate in Not Fade Away), and she describes her on-screen relationship with Hugh Laurie as follows:

  • “This is not a relationship that’s meant to be lusty and inappropriate. It is a connection that the two of them have felt probably for some time; they’ve just never acted on it. He brings out the adult, grown, mature, developed side of her, and she brings out the free-spirited, happy-go-lucky kid in him.”

Well said.  One final similarity between the two movies – their weird endings call out for a sequel.  But what are the chances with an audience that didn’t enjoy it and investors who lost their shirts.

I give the movie three and a half stars out of four.