Orange County

Bomb Rating: 

There's nothing like a film starring and directed by the sons and daughters of famous people to remind us that not only is Hollywood a town about who you sleep with, it's a town that celebrates the triumph of nepotism like mongoloids in a Mississippi trailer park.

How do people like Schuyler Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek), Colin Hanks (son of Tom Hanks) and director Jake Kasdan (son of Lawrence Kasdan) get into the filmmaking business anyway? Very simple, of course: They ride their parents' coattails until they skid to a stop at the doorstep of some producer with nothing better to do than give them a job. If they don't, mom or dad makes a few calls and Rocko and the boys pay the producer a visit and reorient his legs at strange angles.

Other than connections, how does one explain a dinky little movie like this one sporting a cast that includes Catherine O'Hara, Jack Black, Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Lily Tomlin, Garry Marshall, John Lithgow, Ben Stiller and Kevin Kline? I'll tell you how: "Hey, I know your dad. Sure, I'll work a day for free." It's either show up for your smarmy cameo or junior's dad turns your name into mud all over town. And let's be honest: It's not like Lawrence Kasdan could really do anything to Ben Stiller at this point. It's just the potential threat of not being liked by a few more people that spurs these stars to action. "Oh, somebody might not like me? Better do this cameo."

"Orange County" is about a surfer who decides he wants to be a writer, tries to get into Stanford, and is rejected. Shaun (Colin Hanks) is the surfer. His girlfriend is Ashley (Schuyler Fisk). His drugged-out brother is Jack Black. Jack Black's idea of funny is to run around in his underwear, a talent nobody else has, apparently.

Naturally, nobody is sane in Orange County. Shaun's mother (Catherine O'Hara) is a basket case and doesn't want him to leave. Big brother is a total failure with a bizarre eccentric streak. Dad (Lithgow) has a trophy bride and doesn't have time for parenting, but is rich as hell. All Shaun wants to do is get out of Orange County. All I wanted to do was get out of the theater.

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