Last night saw the premiere of suburban morality tale The Oranges at the Winter Garden theatre (scheduled in a dueling time slot with the Russell Peters flick Breakaway, which played at the Elgin below). Oliver Platt was the first to arrive at the premiere, followed by cast members Allison Janney and Hugh Laurie. Leighton Meester emerged from a Goodnight Gansevoort limousine in a white lace Alexander McQueen dress. Unlike her co-stars who marched immediately into the theatre, 25-year-old Meester stepped off the red carpet to greet the swarming fans and sign autographs. Before the movie, first-time director Julian Farino informed the crowd that he’d only finished the film four days ago (his parents had flown over from England for the occasion).
After the screening, the cast assembled onstage for questions (and fawning “I-actually-just-have-a-comments”). Platt made a point of crediting his onscreen chemistry with Laurie to the screenplay, asking writers Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss (who were in the audience) to stand while he chanted “The script, the script, the script” (more than 10 times). One audience member asked the director to justify the morality of the movie, in which a 50-something dad hooks up with his neighbour’s 24-year-old daughter. Director Julian Farino responded there were no easy answers on the road to happiness. A few minutes later, when asked a completely different question, lead actor Hugh Laurie insisted on returning to the morality issue, taking that same audience member to task for having an overly simple idea of what morality was. Sadly, no one asked any questions of Allison Janney, Leighton Meester and Alia Shawkat, who stood politely onstage while the boys had all the fun.