#14 - The Oranges
SUMMARY (Courtesy of IMDB)
The enduring friendship between the Walling and Ostroff families is tested when Nina, the prodigal Ostroff daughter, returns home for the holidays after a five-year absence and enters into an affair with David, head of the Walling family.
This movie is an immediate favorite in my book! Of course, the language is coarse and some of the sexual terms are quite vulgar…but the message in the movie is excellent. At first glance, this seems to be a movie about a May-December romance, which is secretly a favorite theme of mine. Hugh Laurie plays David Walling and, with his American accent, it’s a bit strange at first to see him playing such a sympathetic man with such a moral center, but it suits him well. Leighton Meester plays Nina Ostroff and does an excellent job at playing off of Hugh Laurie in the movie, and they seem to have a strong chemistry that draws them together. All of the actors bring strong performances to their roles, but Laurie and Meester are truly the shining stars of the film.
Throughout the movie there is wonderful background music, especially during the reflective moments, composed of simple but powerful piano music. I loved how raw it was with the emotion and how they didn’t try to sugarcoat anything. They’re emotional and reactive and real. The way that subject is approached is refreshing and wonderful. I don’t condone cheating, though, in any way, so I won’t try and endorse it, but I will say that the plotline was written with a keen eye for relationships and how they affect not just the two people involved, but also the whole family.
One of my favorite scenes between the two of them is right before the first time they kiss. They’re sitting on the couch and then they lean in towards one another and they meet halfway, which tells the audience that they both wanted to cross that line.
Nina and David being together is, of course, drawing controversy from both families, but I love how they decide to take the chance and try things out with each other. It seems as though David is having a mid-life crisis, taking the time to sow his wild oats for a second time, but at the same time there seems to be some genuine love between the two of them, something that can’t be defined in terms of black and white. It is obvious that she is taken with him and that he is taken with her.
As the movie progresses, I can feel a sort of whimsical quality to their relationship, and it’s easy to realize that it’s not going to work out between them after a while, which is actually a lot harder to take than I would have expected. Even though the viewer knows that their relationship is doomed, you still feel that you silently wish they could stay together.
All in all, it's one of my favorite May-December romance movies, even though it has a depressing end. Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester do an amazing job at bringing the chemistry and relationship to life on the screen. Five out of five stars!