Without question, they key reason to watch The Oranges
is its utterly sublime cast. Led by Hugh Laurie, in his first big screen role post-House
, the ensemble also features the brilliant Allison Janney, and the continually underrated Catherine Keener. Perhaps inevitably, this excellent company of acting talent doesn't quite get enough to work with, but The Oranges
remains a film well worth seeking out.
It's a comedy drama at heart, telling the story of best friends and neighbours living in the midst of domestic suburbia. Things get complicated, in ways we're not going to spoil here, and The Oranges, with a fair few welcome quirks, tells a tale that, in truth, cinema has addressed before. Laurie in particularly is in excellent form though, in a role that, not for the first time in his career, has undertones of darkness to it.
It's a shame that the disc release doesn't feature more in the way of extra features, yet this is an off-radar, low-budget enterprise that warrants both time and attention. Funny, interesting and just a little bit undercooked, its cracks are more than compensated for by that aforementioned cast, who are a continual delight to spend time in the company with. –Jon Foster
David and Paige Walling (Hugh Laurie--TV series House
, Catherine Keener--Where the Wild Things Are
) and Terry and Cathy Ostroff (Oliver Platt--Please Give
, Allison Janney--The Help
) are best friends and neighbours living on Orange Drive in suburban New Jersey. Their comfortable existence goes awry when prodigal daughter Nina Ostroff (Leighton Meester--Date Night
), newly broken up with her fiancé, returns home for Thanksgiving after a 5-year absence. Rather than developing an interest in the successful son of her neighbours, Toby Walling (Adam Brody--TV series The O.C.
), which would please both families, it’s her parents’ best friend David who captures Nina’s attention.
When the connection between Nina and David becomes undeniable, everyone’s lives are thrown into upheaval, particularly Vanessa Walling’s (Alia Shawkat--TV show Arrested Development
), Nina’s childhood best friend. It’s not long before the ramifications of the affair begin to work on all of the family members in unexpected and hilarious ways, leading everyone to reawaken to their lives and reassess what it means to be happy.