The Oranges isn’t quite tart enough.
THE ORANGES (Julian Farino). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (November 9). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
In The Oranges, a lifelong friendship between neighbouring families the Ostroffs and the Wallings gets trashed when 24-year-old Nina Ostroff hooks up with David Walling, who's also her father, Terry's, best friend and one-time pal Vanessa's dad.
Sounds intense, right? Too bad first-time director Julian Farino smoothes out all the edges. The TV fare he used to make (Sex And The City, Entourage - not the heftiest around) is heavier than this predictable piece that refuses to take any risks. Given the creep factor in the plot, it could use a little more ick.
What is surprising is that the two younger actors, Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) as Nina and Alia Shawkat (Amreeka) as Vanessa, not only hold their own in a brilliant cast - Oliver Platt as Terry, Hugh Laurie as David and Allison Janney and Catherine Keener as their respective wives - but almost steal the entire movie.
Woody Allen would have made this material into a full-on comedy that would be both amusing and appalling.
But Farino and screenwriters Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss can't quite pull that off.