is a 2002 teen comedy written by Mike White, directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Colin Hanks, Jack Black
and Schuyler Fisk.note
Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) is just another surfer kid
from Orange County
, living with his Dysfunctional Family
and getting high until his best friend Lonny dies in a surfing accident and he begins to seek more purpose in life. He then discovers a book on the beach, which changes his perspective. Discontented with his family, his school, and pretty much everyone in Orange County, he dreams of becoming an accomplished writer and works hard in high school in order to achieve his dream of studying with his idol, Marcus Skinner, at Stanford
. However, his application is rejected due to an administrative error on the part of his high school, and he tries to get into Stanford via any means necessary with the help of his family and his girlfriend. Hilarity Ensues
Not to be confused with The O.C.
, which is unrelated despite the same setting.
This film contains examples of:
- Artistic License - Geography: Lance is able to drive Shaun and Ashely to Stanford in 3 hours. Anyone familiar with the length of the California coastline knows it would usually take about twice that time, even with the fact that Lance was driving like a maniac.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Shaun, before Lonny's death.
- Creator Cameo: Mike White as the English teacher.
- Drives Like Crazy: Lance.
- Dysfunctional Family
- Enforced Method Acting: The scene where the dog snaps at Ashley's face was not planned and left in because the entire cast and crew thought it was hilarious and fit in with the dog's characterization.
- Gold Digger: Shaun's mom, Cindy, and stepmom, and neither pretend to be anything but.
Cindy: So I married Bob, for you! I had sex with Bob four times for you! So how can you call me a bad mother?
- Granola Girl: Ashley is obsessed with saving endangered animals.
- Hey, It's That Guy!!: Egon is the Dean of Admissions at Stanford, Ben Stiller is a firefighter, Kevin Kline is the teacher Shaun is seeking in Stanford, Shaun's dad is the Alien High Commander, and he shares a mom with Kevin McCallister.
- Intoxication Ensues: The Dean of Admissions gets high on unknown pills, mistaking them for aspirin.
- Ironic Echo Cut:
Shaun: *narrating* My friends think I've lost my mind.
Arlo: He's lost his mind!
- Jerkass: Shaun's father Bud, who abandoned his first family to marry a younger Trophy Wife, and disapproves of his dream to be a writer.
- May-December Romance: Shaun's parents and step-parents.
- No Bisexuals: Averted with Tanya, who makes out with the female janitor in a flashback.
- Place Worse Than Death: How Shaun views Orange County, due to its Stepford Suburbia qualities.
- Precision F-Strike: Averted with Shaun's dad. Inverted with Lance, as Jack Black manages to sneak the f-word in so casually it's hardly noticable.
- The Obi-Wan: Marcus Skinner to Shaun.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The high school counsellor, who gets Shaun's transcript mixed up with another student's, leading to the plot of the rest of the movie, and does nothing to remedy this.
- Only Sane Man: Shaun, so bad.
- Pyro Maniac: Lance reveals he is one as he burns down the Admissions Building at Stanford.
- Really Gets Around: Tanya, the popular girl at school who seemingly has no standards and is prone to start making out with anyone (both male and female).
- Surfer Dude: Shaun to begin with, Arlo and Chad throughout.
- Stepford Smiler: Cindy.
- The Slacker: Lance, who is post-high school, unemployed, on parole, and spends all day stoned watching Spongebob Squarepants.
- The Stoner: Lance (of course), Arlo and Chad.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Shaun's motivation for wanting to get out of Orange County.
- Those Two Guys: Arlo and Chad, Shaun's two friends.
- Throw It In: When Lance rescues Shaun from the swimming pool, he takes off his socks before jumping in. This was not in the script, but was a suggestion of Jack Black's wardrobe assistant.
- To Absent Friends: Lonny's wake.
- Valley Girl: Ashley is a mild one, but all the other girls in Shaun's high school are extreme valley girls.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Shaun wants his Dad to support his ambitions of becoming a writer.