Thanksgiving weekend, that most nerve-wracking of holiday trials for teenagers, young adults, and anyone else who wants to avoid group hugs, gets turned upside down for two families in suburban West Orange, New Jersey when Nina (Leighton Meester), a pretty and single twentysomething, throws herself at fortysomething David (Hugh Laurie), her parents’ best friend and neighbor – and David catches. Too bad the narrative incident trails off soon after that. The fact that David is married (Catherine Keener plays his wife) and his daughter (Alia Shawkat) is Nina’s closest childhood friend only rubs salt on the wounds. It also reinforces the inescapable notion that The Oranges
is a fairly ordinary network-TV-style lifestyle dramedy. Compared to the NJ angst of Todd Solondz (Dark Horse, Welcome to the Dollhouse
), director Julian Farino’s effort — written by Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss — is the blandest vegetable in the Garden State. Oliver Platt and Allison Janney are also among the wasted cast. (90 min.)
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Daddy date night.