The Oranges Movie Poster Image

The Oranges



Mature dramedy doesn't deliver on interesting premise.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Your entire world can fall apart, but chaos can ultimately lead to fulfillment -- if you can ride the chaos until it's run its course. That said, there doesn't seem to be much empathy here for collateral damage as the result of bad decisions.

Positive role models

Nobody is a "bad guy," but most of the lead characters -- except perhaps for Terry and Vanessa -- seem to be unaware of the damage they're causing.


A woman drives her car onto her lawn in rage, smashing Christmas decorations. She also slaps a young woman. A man lunges after his friend in a fit of anger.


Kissing and heavy flirting between a married man and his friend's daughter. One scene shows two pairs of feet under covers, with a sex toy audible. A girl walks into a room and catches her boyfriend cheating, though viewers don't see anything actually happening. Sexual references.


Some use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "damn," and more.


One character likes to buy a lot of gadgets; viewers don't actually see a lot of labels, but it's clear that buying them and having them is what makes him happy. A woman works at Huffman Koos furniture store, and their logo is everywhere.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A twentysomething woman is shown once with a pipe, smoking pot. Some social drinking at parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Oranges hits some interesting notes about life, marriage, and more, but much of the material may be too heavy for younger teens. The plot centers around an adult who falls for his best friend's daughter, who happens to have been his own daughter's childhood pal. There isn't any nudity (though viewers do hear the sounds of a sex toy in use), but the situations between them are cringe-worthy. There's some swearing ("f--k," "s--t," etc.) and drinking, and a twentysomething woman is shown smoking pot.

Kids say

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What's the story?

David (Hugh Laurie) and his wife, Paige (Catherine Keener), are unhappily married in New Jersey, hanging onto their vows by just a few threads. Their daughter, Vanessa (Alia Shawkat), is one of them; underemployed at a store and dreaming of one day designing furniture instead of selling it, she's a reason David and Paige are holding on. Besides, they live across the street from their best friends, Carol (Allison Janney) and Terry (Oliver Platt); their friendship makes their tenuous marriage bearable ... until Carol and Terry's estranged daughter, Nina (Leighton Meester), shows up one day after years of staying on the West Coast. Carol hopes to set Nina up with David's son, Toby (Adam Brody). But it's David she falls for, and he can't resist.

Is it any good?


THE ORANGES is rooted in an interesting concept -- that things sometimes fall apart because they're meant to, and the chaos could actually lead to happiness. But executing on this premise requires a dexterity that few filmmakers possess. Director Julian Farino has a light touch that allows the story to breathe, but it's so featherweight that the film winds up without as much heft as it should.

The Oranges begins with Terry and David together, grounding it in their friendship, and yet the film spends little more than a cursory scene or two to examine how David's actions have impacted them. Same for Vanessa and Nina, who were childhood best friends. You'd think a plot like this would necessitate more time with them both in the same scene. But the biggest flaw is having Meester play Nina. She does a serviceable job, but there's little chemistry between her and Laurie. (Imagine if Nina were Kate Winslet, instead.) And Laurie. Poor Laurie. He's wonderful, as always, but oh how we wish his David had Dr. House's bite.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about The Oranges' central premise. Do you think it's true that sometimes the most unpopular decisions, the most destructive ones, can lead to enlightenment? Happiness?

  • What attracts Nina to David, and vice versa? Does the movie condone their choices? Does it address how people outside of a marriage are affected by their indiscretion?

  • Are the characters -- and their choices -- realistic? What do you think the main take-away is intended to be?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 5, 2012
DVD/Streaming release date:May 7, 2013
Cast:Allison Janney, Catherine Keener, Hugh Laurie, Oliver Platt
Director:Julian Farino
Studio:ATO Pictures
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language including sexual references and some drug use

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byStarOfTheSea October 13, 2012

"Chaos could actually lead to happiness"?

A bit disappointed in this review. I haven't seen the film, but the plot line is inappropriate for both children and young adults. Fidelity in marriage is becoming more and more of a rarity, and films like these further confuse those already struggling to be loyal and do the right thing. Just my two cents.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bywonder dove August 31, 2013

Iffy for 16+ crowd!!!

I saw this movie recently and it was not bad, but not that great either. It's very cliche having a young college aged woman named Nina (Leighton Meester) fall for a grown married man named David (Hugh Laurie). Nothing new there. She betrays her childhood best friend Vanessa (Alia Shawkat) by getting involved with her father and pretty much making both sides of the families feel uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Nina's ex-boyfriend who cheated on her at a party is trying to win her back and her mother tries to set her up with David's son Toby (Adam Brody) which also doesn't work out as planned. The film isn't that funny, just a lot of cliche moments in a dysfunctional family setting. However, Leighton Meester was great and the cast was excellent. Language is strong throughout like any R-rated film...several f-words, sh*t and more. Violence is not bad - some slapping, arguing, angry woman in a car crashes into x-mas decorations on a lawn. Sexual content isn't too bad but has a young woman and older man kissing, they get a motel at one point, 2 pairs of feet shown under covers (sex implied), another young woman tells another married man to sleep with her but she's being sarcastic, boyfriend cheats on girlfriend at a party (nothing shown), couple of crude jokes throughout - one being a remark about Nina sucking "old balls" in referral to dating an older man.. Some drinking and drug use including the use of a marijuana pipe used twice. Content not suitable for anyone under 16!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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