The first and second editions of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge by H. Anthony Medley comprised the fastest selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings. This updated Third Edition includes a detailed Guide to Bids and Responses, along with the most detailed, 12-page Glossary ever published, as well as examples to make learning the game even easier. Click book to order. Available in all bookstores and on Kindle.  


The Oranges (9/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 91 minutes.

Not for children.

I got my familiarity with Hugh Laurie through his comedic performance in Blackadder, the odd British sitcom that was set first in the 16th Century and then in the trenches of World War I. He also played Bertie on Jeeves and Wooster, a less successful and less funny sitcom. So it was difficult for me to sign on to him in the TV dramatic series House.

He is a terrific actor and he shows it in this very black comedy about two extremely close-knit families that face an incredible moral crisis. Sounds like a good drama, but this had me laughing out loud throughout.

Brilliantly directed by Julian Farino, from a script by Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer, while everyone is funny in this movie, the person who really carries the humor is Alia Shawkat, who is Laurie's daughter and who narrates the film. Some of her lines had me in serious belly laughs.

Laurie was always a terrific reactor and he carries that quality into this film as many of his laughs are caused by his reactions to what's going on.

The premise, while clearly immoral and upsetting, is realistic. David and Paige Walling (Laurie and Catherine Keener) and Terry and Cathy Ostroff (Oliver Platt and Allison Janney) live next door to each other and are best friends. Their daughters, Vanessa Walling (Shawkat) and Nina Ostroff (Leighton Meester), once best friends are estranged. Nina breaks up with her fiance, Ethan (Sam Rosen), and comes home and all hell breaks loose.

Told tongue in cheek by Vanessa, the incidents and their reactions to them are hilarious but deep and dark. Meester is especially effective in a role that requires broad range.