I feel like I’ve been hearing about this movie The Oranges for two years now, mostly because of its bizarre-but-just-might-work premise: The Ostroffs and the Wallings are two families fused at the hip, until Hugh Laurie falls for his buddy’s daughter Leighton Meester. Notable is that Hugh and Leighton have already played up the love interest angle, back in 2006 when she guest-starred on House as a teenager infatuated with the prickly physician. Her two-episode arc included her flashing her thong and even unzipping her Juicy hoodie to give him a view of the goods… scenes that we might not even see repeated in The Oranges, since this indie dramedy seems to be more about how their two families react to them dating.
After watching the first full-length trailer, I get the sense that this could actually be a really great role for Leighton. We’ve always rooted for her film career, especially because it’s an injustice to see her Gossip Girl co-star Blake Lively on-screen with the likes of Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds when Leighton is clearly more talented. (Blair always prevails over Serena.) As cheesy as last year’s Country Strong was, Leighton brought heart to her beauty-queen role as Gwyneth Paltrow‘s younger successor. I thought she was brilliant as the villain of The Roommate, but she seems to get stuck in these movies that get dismissed because of ludicrous plots or simply don’t get enough attention.
The Oranges seems to have deeper emotional underpinnings than the aforementioned films, legitimately exploring the potential of a 24-year-old falling for a father figure. I’m in, and that’s even before you consider the talent attached—Allison Janney and Catherine Keener as the moms, plus Adam Brody as Hugh’s son.
And if this is another miss for Leighton, at least we have Alia Shawkat! The Arrested Development star plays Hugh’s daughter, and the scene where she propositions Leighton’s dad Oliver Platt is just great, and brings to mind the classic Arrested scene with “Afternoon Delight.”