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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised
Okay, I wasn't expecting much out of this movie. A standard comming of age/struggle to get into dream college story added with some comic relief was all I was expecting. Yes, the movie is all of that, but more. It has real heart that comes through to the audience. There's some good acting and good character development. Jack Black is of course gleefully absurd as...
Published on August 11, 2002 by Victor Chen

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Orange to the Top
Orange County can be described as the movie that will set off a dozen more teen-movies with sharp witt, sarcastic humour and a lack of "troubled-with-sex-in any way" formula that has ruled teen movies since American Pie came out.
In 80's style, minus its standard absurdity, Colin Hanks starts his career in a better way than ol' da did. His skills as an actor can be...
Published on July 6, 2002 by Roger I. Camara Lemarroy


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised, August 11, 2002
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
Okay, I wasn't expecting much out of this movie. A standard comming of age/struggle to get into dream college story added with some comic relief was all I was expecting. Yes, the movie is all of that, but more. It has real heart that comes through to the audience. There's some good acting and good character development. Jack Black is of course gleefully absurd as usual, and Colin Hanks is solid as the main character. Also watch for a delightful cameo by Ben Stiller. Schuyler Fisk is a welcome and refreshing addition to the cast as Hanks' charming girlfriend. What can I say? She's just really really...likeable. She's very pretty, but not unbelievably so. She's got that down-to-earth, girl-next-door quality that many boast but few possess. In other words, we believe she's a real person. And the ending is very good, very original. I won't spoil it per se, but let's just say that I'm a UC Berkeley student, and the ending made me happy. Go Bears....
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A teen movie worth watching., December 13, 2001
By 
Amazon Customer "adman_2001" (Mission, Kansas United States) - See all my reviews
Here's the upfront skinny (If you know the premise already, skip to "What I think"):
Orange County, an MTV Film, is a flic about a high school senior, Shawn (Colin Hanks,
Tom's son), who finds a book written by a Stanford University professor, becomes
obsessed with writing, and prays to study writing with that professor (Kevin Kline). As he
pursues his dream, with no help from his extremely dysfunctional family, he begins his
pursuit to be accepted at Stanford. When his high school counselor (Lilly Tomlin) sends
the wrong transcript desperate mad-capped antics frequently pop-up as the team of
Shawn, his nature loving girl friend and his loser brother go to the Stanford campus to try to
convince the dean of admissions (Harold Ramis - Egon from Ghostbusters) to let him in,
regardless of the error.
Here's what I think: This movie had an Indie feel, with a big studio budget. The star power
alone was amazing. Overall, I thought Orange County was a really good, but not the best, motion picture
in the teen genre. Story background was desperately missing, as well as character development which would
have made this film easier to swallow instead of having to guess at the reasoning behind character
behavior. However, once the movie progresses the viewer can't help but be sucked into the plot, the
urgency, and the insanity of the cast.
It may seem a little exaggerated at first but to realize that each character represents a unique
aspect of our American culture is quite mind bending. It had the smart-assed, immature
essence of an American Pie but the moral value of a fairy tale. The character portrayal was strong.
The dialogue was intelligent and fresh. The examination of current pop culture was evident. The soundtrack
was scrumtrelescent. The typical teen movie cheese was minimal.
The main character's odd ball surfer friends were great. His divorced, self-centered parents
(Catherine O'Hara and John Lithgow) were great. And all of the cameo appearances by big stars
were great - Chevy Chase as the high school principal, Ben Stiller as a firefighter, Kevin Kline,
etc. etc. etc.
If you are a fan of Tenacious D, or in fact, any other movie Jack Black has been in, you will bust a gut at
his hilarious contribution to this film. However, if you have heard this was Jack Black's
new film, that's only a half truth. Yes, JB is in it but only as the drugged out loser brother, which is
a role that JB probably didn't have to practice much for. Even though he was the comic relief, he
only had a supporting role.
This film is intended for the teen-young adult. Those who closely remember the college
acceptance process will get the most out of this movie and have the most empathy for
Shawn.
It was funny, it was touching, and best of all, it wasn't annoying. And my wife liked it too.
(We both recently graduated from college). If anything it is a warning against ditzy high
school, college counselors.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Romp, August 26, 2002
By 
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
"Orange County" offers us something already done, but something wonderfully refreshing: a teen-ish film that is genuinely funny
I think I avoided seeing this film for months on end because of the reason that may have drawn so many people to it: an all-star stellar cast that drips with many wonderful cameos. It seems, in the past, that a film that brought in major stars only did so to bring in the crowds because the script lacked something. Not here! This script carries a wallop of laughs from the moment it starts until the end, and the cameos only add a wonderful surprise element to this film.
Colin Hanks wonderfully struggling college student trying to fulfill a dream of attending Stanford is a role particularly suited to some wonderfull comedic talents. He plays straight man to a cast of totally insane characters that orbit his life, sometimes unfortunately, to dire results. Two of my favorite: Jack Black's older, oft digusting brother, and Catherine O'Hara's drunken mother both left me laughing out loud, as I watched this movie alone.
In fact, the strength of this piece is not really the story, which is strong, but those characters as they begin to realize their potential throughout the film. It's been a long time since I've met so many memorable characters in a film. These ones will be staying with me for a long time.
Looking for a fun, goofy movie to put you in a good mood? Toss "Orange County" in your cart, and settle down for a great giggle.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterically funny, October 18, 2004
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
I didn't know until after the second time I'd watched this movie that Colin Hanks is Tom Hanks's son. Colin Hanks plays a young man trying to get into the college of his dreams- Stanford. After reading a book written by the author Marcus Skinner (played by Kevin Kline), Shaun decides he wants to give up surfing to become a writer. He writes a story about growing up in Orange County, which becomes the backdrop to the concept of the movie.

Coming from a totally dysfunctional family which includes coked-up Lance (Jack Black, who steals the show), alcoholic drama queen Cindy (Catherine O'Hara), and Bud (John Lithgow), Shaun is disappointed to find that he doesn't, in fact, get in to Stanford. Thus beguns a hillarious trip up to the school with Lance and his bleeding-heart girlfriend Ashley to try to talk the Dean of Admissions into adding his name onto the "admitted" list. It seems that Jack Black spends most of this movie in his underwear, only pausing to don clothes for the trip to Stanford.

Its a hysterically funny movie which makes me laugh harder and harder every time I see it. It does, however, have a serious tone to it. Shaun wants to be a good writer, and is worried that he won't be a good one unless he leaves the place where he grew up. After a talk with his role model, however, Shaun realizes that things are OK, and that there truly is hope in the world.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Just a Movie......It's a State of Mind, July 3, 2002
By 
Michael Crane (Orland Park, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
"Orange County" is a great comedy that both includes witty humor, and stupid humor at the same time. I was very surprised with this movie, and I really enjoyed it. Even seeing it again, I was still pretty amazed with how good this movie really is.
The movie is about a high school student, (Colin Hanks), who wants to go to Stanford University; to become a successful writer and to get the hell out of Orange County! But things get out of control when his admission records get mixed up and Stanford rejects him. Knowing that this mistake must be resolved, he'll do just about anything to set things right. With the help of his girlfriend and stoner brother, (Jack Black), Shaun Brumder is about to find out that getting out of Orange County just might not be the easiest thing in the world. The movie also includes stars like Catherine O'Hara, John Lithgow, and cameoes from Harold Ramis and Chevy Chase.
This is a very funny movie with a great script. This is a comedy that I think can appeal to everyone. Though it is PG-13 for some crude humor and drug content, this isn't the most outrageous or offensive movie. I wouldn't let really little kids see it, but it's nowhere near as bad as the "American Pie" movies. Colin Hanks does a great job on his part, and yes, Jack Black is hillarious. In fact, I think he's the funniest in the movie.
The DVD is okay. The picture and sound quality is great, but it lacks in special features. It contains 4 deleted scenes, comentary from the director and writer, theatrical trailer of the movie, and more. I think they could've included a little more, but it still doesn't take away any enjoyment from the movie.
"Orange County" is a great movie and a funny one at that. If you want to see a great comedy that has a great story and cast, this is the movie for you. I really like this movie, and I plan to watch it again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A teen comedy which will actually make you LAUGH!, January 5, 2003
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
"Orange County" has a star-studded cast esemble, a great script, and a comical story.
PLOT SUMMARY: In "Orange County", Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks--yes, TOM HANKS'S son), has an easy life in Orange County, California. Shaun spends most of his days surfing with his three best buds who enjoy getting wasted and catching the highest waves possible. When one of his friends suddenly dies while surfing in a freak storm, Shaun realizes that life is short...especially after he finds a book in the beach sand, written by the famous Stanford University professor, Marcus Skinner (Kevin Kline). This leads Shaun into wanting to become a writer, and wanting to attend Stanford University, so he could take one of Skinner's classes. However, the only problem is that Shaun's dysfunctional family doesn't want him to go to Stanford. His mom, Cindy Beugler (Catherine O'Hera), who got remarried to an old man, Bob Beugler (George Murdock), wants him to go to a college that's closer to home. His filthy rich dad, Bud Brumder (John Lithgow), who got remarried to a very unfaithful younger woman, claims Shaun doesn't need to become a writer and that being an author doesn't "get you rich". So this leaves Shaun to take matters into his own hands. Shaun applies to Stanford, anyway. When his school councelor sends the wrong transcript and application to Stanford, Shaun gets rejected. Shaun can't accept this, so when his wasted older brother, Lance Brumder (Jack Black), suggests they take a road trip to the school to try to prove to the school that he is Stanford material, Shaun takes this suggestion seriously. So Lance ends up driving Shaun and Shaun's girlfriend, Ashley (Schuyler Fisk), on a hilarious road trip to Stanford, so that Shaun can hopefully get accepted into the school...and Shaun will do whatever it takes, unkowningly that his family and friends want him to stay home, because they care about him.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I thought "Orange County" was extremely hilarious, original, and clever. It has got a fantastic script and some excellent performances by the entire cast. Colin Hanks is convincing and appealing in his role...he definitely looks like a younger version of Tom. But Jack Black steals the show. The film is fast-paced, and just plain funny. The DVD is nicely packaged, with some deleted scenes, commentaries, and more.
I highly recommend "Orange County".
Score:
98/100
A+
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very funny movie!, January 18, 2002
By 
D. Litton (Wilmington, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Oh, what a delightful movie "Orange County" is, with its wonderful brand of situational humor and use of Hollywood's underrated actors who bring out the best in the material. One could almost call this film the anti-"American Pie," considering the PG-13 rating and its somewhat toned down brand of comedy, but it's just as humorous as that previous winner, and comes out as a terrific exercise in non-stop laughs.
The story takes place in Orange County, California, where high school senior Shaun Brumder (newcomer Colin Hanks) spends his days cutting class to go surfing with his three best friends. As his story goes, his friend's drowning death while surfing in a tropical storm leads him to change his goals; after finding a popular book on the beach and reading it 52 times in a single month, he makes the decision of becoming a good writer, something he feels he cannot achieve while living where he does.
And who could blame him? His mother, Cindy (Catherine O'Hara), spends her days living in a drunken stupor, the product of a marriage for material wealth who wants nothing more than for Shaun to remain at home. Her husband is an elderly man who requires a wheelchair and a daily dose of various medications to keep him docile, while Shaun's brother Lance (Jack Black) is a connoisseur of illegal substances. His father (John Lithgow), who divorced his mother for a 20-year-old toothpick, is appalled by his son's future plans.
This leaves him one option: going to college out of town, and so he applies to Stanford, a school he yearns for with every fiber of his being. After he is rejected through a comedic series of mishaps and misunderstandings, he becomes desperate, and so he, his girlfriend Ashley (Schuyler Fisk), and Lance drive out to Stanford to set things straight.
What will follow in the second half of the film is a very funny sequence of events that are refreshingly humorous and sometimes meaningful. Such scenes as the dinner at which Shaun attempts to impress a prestigious Stanford couple (played with great gusto by Garry Marshall and Dana Ivey), and that involving the Dean of Admissions and a bottle of Lance's "pain killers," are nothing short of side-splitting, some of the funniest moments in a movie in quite some time. Those looking for something in the vein of the recent outpouring of gross-out flicks will be disappointed in "Orange County's" reluctance to go over the edge, but it does succeed in tickling one's funny bone.
The best aspect of this film is its shining cast, which includes the best work of some untapped resources that have been missing in action for years. O'Hara and Lithgow turn in quirky, delightful performances as Shaun's parents, while newcomer Hanks makes his mark on Hollywood as teenage boy surrounded by insanity. Jack Black practically steals the show as Lance, taking a turn from his character's in last year's "Shallow Hal" by portraying one of the most detestable human beings in a most enlightening manner. And look out for cameos from Lily Tomlin as a disgruntled guidance counselor, Chevy Chase as a pop culture principal, and Kevin Kline as a prestigious yet down-to-earth writer.
Without revealing too much about the film, I will say that Shaun's second change of heart that comes at the movie's ending may be too sentimental for a movie of such comedic potential, but it doesn't cheat by the rules of the teen movie, and is perfectly acceptable. As for the comedy, it doesn't push the envelope, and that's a good thing. "Orange County" is the first truly great comedy of the year, and after last year's hoard of flops, this one adds a glimmer of hope for 2002.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Orange County!, August 17, 2002
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
Shawn Brumder used to be your normal average surfer in Orange County untill one of his friends dies in this very funny film starring Colin Hank,Jack Black,Cathrine O Hara,and John Liftgow entitled Orange County.
This film follows the story of Shawn after the death where he finds a book by auther Marcus Skinner in the sand at the Orange County Beach.He reads it cover to cover thinking it's a sign and he decides that he wants to be a writer.Shawn appies to Stanford to study with Marcus Skinner but his guidence consuler played by Lily Tomlin sends the wrong transcript.Shawn is rejected from Stanford and he,his girlfriend,and his drugged out brother Lance played by Jack Black head out to Stanford and talk to the dean of admissions to try to get Shawn into Standford.
Also catch some other great acting of Cathrine O' Hara who plays Shawn's mother,John Liftgow playing his father,Garry Marshell playing a Stanford Board member and Chevy Chase playing the school princpial.
Orange County is a very funny teen flick and has it's equal share of wit and heart it's hard not to love.I recomemnd that you rent it before buying.The reason I gave the film four stars is that it was to short.I think they could have made more stuff and make the film at least anthor 20 minutes long.But other then that Orange County is a good watch and fun too.
ENJOY!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Teen Movie!!!, August 5, 2002
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
Most of today's teen flicks are made up of the same elements. They are full of cheerleaders, teen lust, and parties. "Orange County" is wonderfully original and redefines the teenage movie genre. The film is full of great jokes and an inventive plot that will leave you in awe of the originality of this movie. This is one of the few comedies that can be viewed of people of all ages due to no foul language and no sex, unless you consider rolling around and kissing sex.
Shawn is an Orange County teenager that used to live for surfing. When he was at the beach one day he stumbled upon a book that would change his life. The book that he read made him decide to give up surfing and made him start writing. Flash forward a year or so later and it's time for Shawn to apply for college. Shawn's dream school is the prestigious Stanford University. He applies to only that school because the college counselor (who has no clue what she's doing) says that he'll definitely get in. Shawn doesn't get in and thus starts his adventure to get in. From a meeting with a mony donor to the school all the way to a trip to Stanford, this is one film that will be enjoyed immensely. Will Shawn get into the school? Watch this film and find out!
The best thing about the film is without a doubt that characters and the actors who play them. Award winning actor Tom Hanks' son Colin plays the lead character of Shawn. Colin puts on a truly fantastic performance. His talent will make you wish that other teen actors were as good as him. The girl that plays Shawn's girlfriend in the film is great as well. Jack Black plays Shawn's brother, and to be honest, this movie would have been nowhere as good as it was without him. Shawn's parents are truly fantastic as well as you can see how money affects their lives in a bad way.
This film is a lesson on many things. Shawn's quest to be a writer shows how that wherever you are and in whatever atmosphere you are in that you can achieve what you want with hard work. As said above, the film shows how money does not buy happiness and can contribute to a melancholy life.
"Orange County" is a movie that shows how all teen movies should be. It is a wonderful comedy that teaches various lessons while entertaining. Anybody that is looking for a refreshing and original film in the comedy genre need not look anywhere but here.
Happy Viewing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love, School, College...and surfing?, June 23, 2002
By 
Alec Malczynski (Huntington Beach, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Orange County (DVD)
First and foremost, I'm from Huntington Beach, central Orange County, California. I thought this movie was very funny, but somewhat stereotypical to the Southern Californian culture; no, we aren't all surfers, ... cheerleaders (well, at my High School there is) and pot-heads...okay, maybe there are, but that still gives much needed formula for the director's purpose for mocking the Orange County lifestyle. What bugged me the most was how only about 22% of the movie was actually filmed in Orange County, while the rest of it was filmed in either upstate Bakersfield, or Los Angeles. But the story actually lightens up to the style, while riding on the backs of tongue-in-cheek comedy.
Shaun Brunder (Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks' son) once was a stereptypical so-cal surfer at first, merely ditching class and catching waves at the beach. Then, his best friend drowns in a surfing accident (involving some hilarious footage from "The Perfect Storm"). Shaun, depressed after his friend's death, morns on the beach, only to find a copy of "Straight-Jacket", a Psychological novel, buried in the sand. He starts to read it. After a while, he becomes attached to the novel, to a point where he decides his life goal...being a writer. Of course, his background isn't exactly "writers" materal, especially living with a alcholic and emotionally disturbed mother (Catherine O'Hara), his doped-up and drug addict brother (Jack Black, in one of his funniest roles to date) and his rich and anal-retentive divorced father (John Lithgow). His school is a total wasteland of any intelligence, from dirty cheerleaders, to idiotic pot-head friends. Even the teachers are showing no sign of intelligence, especially one funny scene where the Principal (Chevy Chase) and the school committee discuss what they want to have speak for their graudation, in which the principal idiotically blurts out "Hey Dana, didn't you say you have have a cousin that's friends with Britney Spears???". The only person that is influencing Shaun to go to college is his sweet girlfriend, Ashley (Schuyler Fisk, Sissy Spacek's daughter). Shaun decides to go to Stanford, but his dumb guidence counseler (cameoed by the funny Lily Tomlin) sends the wrong transcipt to their campus, ultimately putting the option of going to Stanford out of the question. But, there is a solution...it Shaun can influence the dean of Stanford (Harold Ramis) to look at his "real" transcipt, he might just get in to next year's roll. But this would mean in order to leave Orange County behind in order to pursue his dream.
"Orange County" is nevertheless, little-hearted comedy. Complete with a nice so-cal soundtrack and a good list of cameos (Ben Stiller as a fire-fighter, Kevin Kline as Shaun's idol author, Chevy Chase as the Principal, etc.), "OC" is a great movie...full of stereotypes that you can laugh at with dignity.
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Orange County
Orange County by Jake Kasdan (DVD - 2002)
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