by director Julian Farino
"Life. Oof. Stuff." I remember this line from my first reading of the script of The Oranges, and always thought it might make a good tag for the poster. Spoken in the movie by Oliver Platt's character, it seemed to sum up the heart of the movie—big things happening to ordinary people, and their apparently helpless struggles to deal with them.
I loved the script from the beginning as it felt so original—it defied easy definition. In fact, through all of our test screenings which include the question "What other movies would you liken this to?" There was never really one answer which seemed accurate. People would mention Little Miss Sunshine or The Family Stone or call it "a light American Beauty," all of which I see but none of which are, in my opinion, that close.
There was a challenge, not to say contradiction, to the ideas behind the script which I liked. It has what for many might be a dark or troublesome concept, with its older man/younger woman relationship, and yet the tone of the piece wasn't dark at all. Rather, with its combination of comedy and pathos, it celebrated humanity with all its fallibility and weaknesses. Above all, I liked it for its non-judgmental quality—which I thought might be interesting for audiences, particularly American, who might take offence at the premise.
For all this theory, most of all I thought in making the film that it had to be funny. I think I was blessed then, to attract the cast we did. I remember once, when I was doing a Dickens' adaptation for the BBC in England, I met an actor (who I ended up casting) and I asked him what he thought of the script. He said—"When I read it, I thought it would take a bunch of monkeys to fuck this up." That's pretty much how I felt when the cast of this movie had signed up, but of course it's never that easy....
Hope you like it. It was an honest endeavor, meant to entertain and tickle and, hopefully, to touch. If you need any clue as to my sensibility, I can tell you one of my favorite moments in the whole of cinema is the last line of Manhattan… "Have a little faith in people."