THE ORANGES Blu-ray/DVD Review
The Oranges (2012)
R..•..91 min...•..Comedy, Drama, Romance
DIRECTOR: Julian Farino
WRITERS: Ian Helfer, Jay Reiss
Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Allison Janney,
Alia Shawkat, Adam Brody, Leighton Meester
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Julian Farino’s romantic dramedy The Oranges follows two families as they attempt to reconcile the pursuit of individual happiness with family well-being. Candidly acknowledging the calamitous collateral damage that often results from such conflicts, the film wittily argues that although happiness always comes with a price, sometimes it’s a price eminently worth paying.
The Oranges’ primary strength is its unquestionably talented cast. It is nice to see Hugh Laurie play a role that allows him to smile non-ironically and openly do battle with difficult emotional quandaries. Oliver Platt is enjoyably adorable as a gadget-obsessed husband and father, flabbergasted by the relationship between his daughter (Leighton Meester) and Laurie, his best friend. The dynamics of their middle-aged bromance, and the betrayal of that bond, are also interesting and entertaining.
Playing an overbearing-and-judgmental-but-fundamentally-well-intentioned suburban mother, Allison Janney delivers with her usual gusto. On the other hand, Catherine Keener’s somewhat frigid and self-involved character gives off a humorless air even when she’s smiling. (Sometimes I just want to shake her by the shoulders and demand to know—à la Heath Ledger’s Joker—“WHY SO SERIOUS?!”)
Although Meester and Laurie have good on-screen chemistry, the same cannot be said about Meester and Alia Shawkat. Fueled by lingering high school grudges, their trite conflict lacks the emotional and physical finesse that each has delivered in other roles. The film also suffers from a general lack of Shawkat—in both screen time and opportunity to play to her comedic strengths. Instead, she is largely relegated to a bland state of moping and passive-aggressive fuming.
Fans of decidedly ‘indie’ comedy who enjoy humor based in family strife and age-inappropriate relationships, and who don’t mind a somewhat slower pace, will enjoy The Oranges’ wit and wisdom.
The Oranges is now available on DVD and Blu-ray™ + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack.
Blu-ray™ Bonus Features
• Opening Doors: Inside the Oranges
• Juicy Secrets: Behind the Scenes of The Oranges
Featured Image: © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
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