Saturday, 20 April 2013

No.91 : The Oranges

The Oranges at the IMDb
Sorry fruit fans ; the title refers to the street in New Jersey where our characters live and most of the action takes place. Hold on though I’m pretty sure an apple and a banana make some uncredited appearances.

This romantic comedy isn’t demanding in the slightest and is almost more about manners and foibles in general than it is about any of the poorly sketched characters.

Our two principles are played by Hugh Laurie and Oliver Platt. Both are middle aged suburbanites with decaying marriages that they supplement with jogging and a fondness for gadgets. They socialise together with Laurie’s kids being Maybe Bluth off ‘Arrested Development’ and some lightweight drinker who is heading off to a trade mission to China. Platt has one daughter who is a free spirit living abroad with a surfer dude boyfriend.

The family don’t approve when she phones to says she’s engaged to the douche bag but no sooner than she hangs up the phone does she find him hanging out of some slapper. She returns to the family home for thanksgiving and the families are keen to pair her off with the trade delegate son. Alas he can’t hold his booze and when he passes out the strumpet heads over to Hugh’s man cave for some kissing action.

The next day the pair agree it was a mistake but soon end up kissing some more. Their plans are quickly undone when they are spotted by a nosey mother at a motel and they have to decide where to go from here. Hugh’s wife, the virgin deflowerer from ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ moves out to a B&B and works things through with her choir and goat providing charity. Hugh has some awkward dates with his youthful love and the age gap becomes apparent when you get the usual scenes of ‘uh-oh maybe this wasn’t a good idea’. Speaking of Maybe she busies herself with doing the narration and little else.

Things come to a head over Christmas as the cheating boyfriend and the trade delegate show up leaving us with the quandary of who will end up with whom and whether they are all really happy .

This film could have been subtitles ‘First World Problems’ as a bunch of well to do yuppies bump uglies and work through issues. It was hard to care about any of them, even the wronged wife who just came across as a whiny moaner with a penchant for snowman murder.

Hugh Laurie played his usual self with no empathy on show. There was no obvious reason why he’s tear his life up for a skinnier version of Keira Knightly (if such as thing is possible!) especially as he and the girl had no chemistry whatsoever. Thankfully the bedroom action was kept to our imagination but there were quite a few kisses that went on a bit too long.

Oliver Platt was phoning his part in as the father of the slapper who liked gadgets. He did have some decent scenes but it was unclear why is daughter being a slut was a reason for the rebirth of his soul and libido. There were a couple of laughs with one discussion of Hugh Laurie’s aged balls the best.

I think this was a decent stab at a bit of whimsy with an indie soundtrack attempting to blare out cool credentials that the bouncer refused at the door. The intention may be to examine relationships and morays  but the result was just a lot of middle-aged people moaning a lot while the kids tried their best to keep up.

THE Tag Line - You Need to Work at Your Relationship (Film)

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