Tom Hanks' nipper Colin plays Shaun Brumder, a young man about to graduate from high school. When we first meet him, Brumder explains how he once had few ambitions beyond surfing, getting toasted and his sweeter than thou girlfriend (Schular Fisk, who happens to be Sissy Spacek's daughter). After the death of a friend in a surfing accident, however, Brumder happens across a book on the beach and is inspired by it. Realising that his ambition is to become a writer, Brumder sets about trying to get into Stanford in order to study with the book's author, Marcus Skinner. Yet when it comes to the application process, just about anything that can go wrong does go wrong. So much so that Brumder, his girl and his permanently wasted brother (Jack Black) all set off to Stanford to try and make things right. While it's an energetic affair for the opening few minutes, Orange County is one of those films which is unsure where it wants to go or do. Some scenes do work quite well, most of them featuring Black, but too much of the film has a forced madcap feel to it. What makes Orange County really disappointing, though, is that the film's director, Jake Kasdan, made such an auspicious debut with Zero Effect (1998) and he seems so devoid of any scale of ambition here.
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