Juicing the Cast of "The Oranges"
"The Oranges" is a comedy that magically infuses humor into the troubles of life. This quirky film, directed by Julian Farino, details the unexpected consequences of reuniting. When a group of family and friends reconnect for the holidays, sparks fly and scandal erupts, resulting in laughs for the audience and conflicts for the characters.
While the film itself is delightful and entertaining, its true wealth is in its cast. The casting directors deserve a pat on the back for handpicking a group of individuals who present the skill and raw talent to carry the film and take it further than the writing itself. With an ensemble of familiar favorites, "The Oranges" has a hand of actors that can bring down the house.
Leighton Meester stars as Nina Ostroff, the bombshell daughter of Terry (Oliver Platt) and Cathy Ostroff (Allison Janney) who is fresh on the market after a rough breakup with her fiancé. With irresistible good looks and a youthful flair, Nina is a breath of fresh air into the stagnant existence of her parents and their good friends, the Wallings. Unfortunately, she breathes in a bit too much fresh air and starts an affair with her family's good friend, David Walling (Hugh Laurie).
With a smidgen of attitude made famous by her character of Blair Waldorf in "Gossip Girl," Meester is perfect for the role. She easily plays the part of a twentysomething in turmoil, looking for a cause and a purpose after heartbreak. Her chemistry with the rest of the cast is undeniable, and her past experience in such roles is obvious.
Hugh Laurie is hilarious as David Walling, the patriarch of the Walling family and unexpected object of Nina's affections. With his confidence and well-kept manner, David is a stark opposite of his good friend, Terry. Laurie fills the role with ease, creating a character who proves to be memorable with his witty lines and laid-back nature.
Well known for playing the brooding and bold Dr. Gregory House on Fox's smash hit "House M.D.," Laurie is no stranger to playing a scandalous yet intriguing person. He has also made appearances on Fox's envelope-pushing hit "Family Guy." These recent mature projects contrast sharply with Laurie's past successes in the arena of family-friendly films, including "Hop" and "Stuart Little."
Catherine Keener plays Paige, David's second wife. Best known for her quirky roles in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Into the Wild," Keener is a natural for the role with her relaxed demeanor and casual acting style. The emotion is there, but Keener is not histrionic. Her soft ways make her scenes all the more hilarious. The result is a surprisingly loveable woman scorned who fits perfectly with the odd humor of the film.
Alia Shawkat stars as Vanessa Walling, the daughter of David and Paige. A friend of Nina's, Vanessa is in the awkward position of having her father cheat with her friend, resulting in the split of her parents. Shawkat is hilarious, often overtaking scenes with her over-the-top antics and perfectly delivered punch lines.
Toby Walling, the Walling son, is played by the handsome Adam Brody. A fan favorite, Brody plays a successful son who was thought to be the one that would catch Nina's eye. Brody displays touching emotion in the film, clearly showing his character's pain and confusion over his parents' split.
Familiar face Oliver Platt plays the bumbling and awkward Terry, the father of Nina. Never one to cause conflict, Terry struggles to take control of the family in the wake of the scandal between his friend and daughter. Platt takes hilarity to new heights and performs brilliantly as a man who is both weak and endearing. He separates his character from the chaos of the story and creates a likable and realistic person whom the audience can relate to.
Allison Janney is a standout in her role as Nina's mother, Carol. Curious and motherly, Carol is the one who discovers the affair. Janney's physical comedy is the highlight of many scenes. With believable expressions and reactions, Janney's performance makes the film more realistic and enjoyable for all. Her onscreen flow with Platt is undeniable, and their pairing is one of the most hilarious in recent memory.
The major castings in the film are spot on. The cast is fresh, fun, and full of character. The film is not overshadowed by overused big stars but still has enough star power to be noticed. The cast is skilled enough to run with their roles and make the movie the gem that it is.