Orange County

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Orange County

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) is a former surf-bro turned aspiring writer who is hellbent on getting out of the vapid, artificial confines of Orange County, California so he can go to Stanford University and study under his favorite writer. But when his guidance counselor accidentally sends the wrong transcript and he’s rejected from the school, he’s willing to try almost anything to get accepted, prompting a series of misadventures and mishaps.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: When Orange County arrived in 2002, it didn’t make much of a splash, disregarded as another average high school teen comedy among the likes American Pie. It was a box office success, largely thanks to the promotion by MTV, but with a critical score on Rotten Tomatoes that stands at 46%, it’s clear that it wasn’t received very well. But I’m here to put Orange County on the pedestal that it deserves, because if this movie had played the Sundance Film Festival, it would have been an indie sensation, and that vibe along with a fantastic ensemble cast makes it a movie that deserves much more respect. Read More »

Jake Kasdan, once known exclusively as a comedy director, is now playing in the big leagues. With just the right amount of nostalgia and newness, Kasdan turned Jumanji into one of the biggest modern franchises around. While the large scale and effects were initially new to him, he’s now growing comfortable working at that level.

Kasdan made his directorial debut with a sharp ’90s noir with a killer Bill Pullman performance, Zero Effect. It features a Pullman performance deserving of more love in this world. Kasdan followed his directorial debut with Orange CountyThe TV Set, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. During our phone interview with Kasdan, we recently talked about how Walk Hard has changed the biopics forever, how he’s grown as a filmmaker making the Jumanji movies, and the unfortunate state of the world at the moment.

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