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USA: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Cast: Rachael Leigh Cook, Jonathan Tucker, Agnes Bruckner, Joe Mantegna, Val Kilmer, Carrie Fisher, Diane Venora, Ed Begley Jr, Penny Marshall, Daniel Franzese, Michael Goduti, Caryn Greenhut, Brian Geraghty, Billy Lush, Bridget Barkan, Johnny Alonso, Brian Veronica, Brenden Donovan, David Holcomb, Robert Rogan, Andre Vippolis, David Walton
Director: Reverge Anselmo
USA Rated: R for language, some sexuality/nudity and underage drinking (previously rated: R in 2003)
US Release Date: 21 May 2004 (Limited Release)
Based on a true story, STATESIDE follows the adventures of an outlaw rich kid, Mark Deloach (Jonathan Tucker), who lands in the Marine Corps and is trained by hard-biting Drill Instructor Skeer (Val Kilmer). When on leave, he meets and falls in love with the crazy young actress/pop singer, Dori Lawrence (Rachael Leigh Cook). STATESIDE is a story of love that overcomes precarious trials and earns, for the spirit of youth, a heartfelt victory.
It's 1980, Mark Deloach, 17, is attending St. Mary's High School in Connecticut. He's a lonely and unpopular boy. His mother has since passed away and he lives with his father (Joe Mantegna), who has emphysema, and his younger sister, Gina, in their mansion of a home. The relationship between father and son is tense and lacking of common affection. Mark is driving fast in his sports car, drinking beers with his buddy, Danny Tripodi (Daniel Franzese), and playing pranks on Sue 'Sue of the D'Ubervilles' Dubois (Agnes Bruckner). Sue is Mark's fellow classmate and considered to be a prissy little snob who's secretly promiscuous.
The prank Mark and Danny set up to harass Sue and Danny's brother Gregory (Michael Goduti), in the act of making out, changes the lives of many people. The prank leads to a collision with a car driven by Father Concoff (Ed Begley, Jr), head priest of St. Mary's High School. Sue lies unconscious and Father Concoff is critically injured. They are hospitalized and Sue's mother, Mrs. Dubois (Carrie Fisher) presses charges. She is furious, and shocked to learn about her daughter's shameful activities. Being confronted, Sue becomes hysterical and ends up in a mental hospital. Prior to leaving, Mark goes to visit Sue in the mental hospital, where he fatefully encounters Dori Lawrence. Mark is intrigued by this odd, beautiful girl who possesses such an amusing spirit. When asked what her name is, she lies. He is smitten.
A nudge from the judge puts Mark in military service. Mark lands in Platoon 1021, on Parris Island, S.C. There he is faced with hard-core discipline from Senior Drill Instructor Skeer who is out to turn Mark's upper class lifestyle upside down. His rich and rebellious free life is gone; Mark's life is now the property of the U.S. Marine Corps.
On leave, Mark reunites with his friends and runs into 'Sue of the D'Ubervilles' and her roommate, Dori Lawrence. Mark apologizes to Sue and is thrilled to see Dori again. Sue and Dori are now roommates in a halfway house. Mark learns that Dori is a famous entertainer and is mysteriously attracted to her nutty behavior. Little by little, the two grow a sweet affection for one another. Meaningful to both of them is the mutual rescue from loneliness, the getting of mail, of having someone to write to from the field. They are direct and playful with each other. The problems they have, they accept, and seem 'fixed' by the witness of the other. Mark returns again to go visit Dori, sneaking her out of the halfway house and hospitals to wander Manhattan in their own romantic world. This becomes the mechanic of their relationship, until others around them see it as a big problem, especially Mrs. Hengen (Diane Venora), head of the halfway house. Mark is young, about to deploy overseas with a combat unit, and Dori's illness is worse whenever separated from Mark. As hard as it may seem, but for the good of Dori, Mark leaves her to the care of professionals and goes to the Navy ships, and a world of fighting that awaits him.
But the sun has not set on this outcast pair. Two years pass, and there is unfinished business in a now changed world.