The Oranges is a cute and warm romantic comedy about a young woman’s relationship with an older man. Highly reminiscent of Crazy Stupid Love but altogether less brash and more tasteful, The Oranges is just like every other rom-com, but because of this it’s the perfect easy to watch film and a great pick me up.
The Oranges follows two very close families, the Ostroff’s and the Walling’s, living opposite each other in Orange City. When estranged Ostroff daughter Nina returns after five years of traveling, both families lives are torn apart when she has an affair with David Walling; her parent’s best friend and the father of her own best mate.
Age gap relationships have been explored countless times in film, and are often the subject of rom-com’s such as this. It’s the perfect conventional formula for a warm and funny comedy perfect for a night in. It narrowly avoids being an emotional roller coaster and maintains an up beat lightness through the great performances and humorous script. It dodges the dark depths that a film about a families turmoil could venture to and keeps it light and entertaining, which is great when you need a bit of a pick me up.
The performances are good, although nothing outstanding. Leighton Meester delivers a solid performance, and probably the best performance of the film as Nina. There is definite chemistry between her and Hugh Laurie which makes their somewhat inappropriate relationship in the film believable.
My main praise for this film is its tactfulness. It’s not brash or vulgar as a lot of American comedies can be, it’s quite ‘toned down’ and very warm. The relationship between Nina and David isn’t treated as something outrageous and their chemistry gives it a certain innocence, and we end up rooting for them. Towards the end of the film it’s obvious the relationship won’t last, but many ideas and questions arise about happiness. It’s suggested that it had to tear the two families apart in order for them to see what they had, or didn’t have as the case may be; eloquently put in the film “Sometimes you have to burn down your house in order to see the moon”.