A brainy high school senior wants desperately to get into Stanford University, but things get off on the wrong foot when his bumbling guidance counselor accidentally sends in the transcript of the worst student in school as his own.
Although it lasts a scant hour and half, "Orange County" often feels like six different movies fighting one another for attention. A tame romantic comedy about an aspiring teenage writer (Colin Hanks) bumps up against gothic suburban satire and madcap lowbrow humor (much of it courtesy of the mischievous Jack Black). There are some very funny bits and some amusing cameos (from Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin and the screenwriter, Mike White), but the movie in the end adds up to much less than its ill-fitting parts. – A. O. Scott
2002-01-11 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Orange County