movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
The film begins as we see Colin Hanks (Tom's son) during the summer before his senior year of high school. He and his 3 friends live for surfing and nothing else. One day Hanks finds a book on the beach and begins reading it. It changes his life. He decides that he too wants to be a writer and writes a letter to the author of the book, telling him how the book inspired him so much that he wants to go to Stanford where the author is a professor.
Hanks lives at home with his alcoholic mother who is divorced and remarried to an old wheelchair bound man named Bob. His older brother (Jack Black) is out on parole and spends his days recovering from the previous nights hangover.
His father is a successful businessman who lives across town in an expensive home with his new twenty something wife. Hes pretty miserable as he knows shes cheating on him.
Hanks gives up surfing and spends his senior year concentrating on his writing and even sends a short story to the Stanford professor about his life in Orange County.
His high school counselor (Lily Tomlin) is pretty unorganized and accidentally sends the wrong transcripts to Stanford and Hanks is not accepted. He is devastated.
He pulls some strings and has a fellow student's grandparents who have great influence at Stanford, visit him Unfortunately, between his moms drinking and Jack Blacks overall appearance, the visitors leave the house vowing that if its the last thing they do, they will guarantee that Hanks will NEVER get into Stanford.
Jack Black comes up with the idea that they should just drive up to Stanford, meet with the dean of admissions and set things straight about the transcripts.
After a harrowing drive up there, they finally make it to the admissions office but the only one still around is a secretary. Black decides to sneak into the office but is caught by the secretary and the two of them are for some strange reason, attracted to each other and they hook up.
Meanwhile, Hanks and his girlfriend go to the Deans house and meet with him there. Wearing Blacks coat, the girlfriend accidentally gives the Dean what she thought were aspirin but turned out to be some of Jacks many drugs. In a great mood, the Dean decides to take the two down to his office and fix the transcripts.
Back at the office, Jack and the secretary are smoking after having sex and Jack accidentally burns the office down. Hanks, his girlfriend and the Dean arrive to a burning building. Jack is pretty suspicious and the fire department keeps an eye on him.
Hanks and the girlfriend get into an argument and he ends up walking around campus and bumps into the professor (Kevin Kline) who wrote the book that changed his life. Kevin Kline tells him he loved the story ORANGE COUNTY that Hanks sent him. The only criticism is that it had no ending. Hanks agrees and that since its about his life in Orange County, he really doesnt know how its going to end up.
Eventually, Hanks, his girlfriend meet up with Jack Black who is hiding from the cops because of the burning down of the Admissions office.
They make it back to Orange County and Hanks and Black are shocked to find that his father is divorcing his young wife and moving back into the house. In fact, he made a donation to rebuild the admissions office which because of the size of the donation, enables Hanks to get accepted into Stanford.
Hanks decides however that all the great writers suffered some sort of hardship which only helped their writing. He chooses not to go to Stanford after all and just experience all he can of life in Orange County.
The film ends with him back on the beach, burying the book he found a year earlier and then running to the water with his surfboard and friends.
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Poster and photos provided by : Yahoo! movies