An adventurous romantic drama about a high-school rich kid serving in the Marine Corps to avoid jail, and a schizophrenic actress, whose career is crashing. Mark Deloach lands in the Marine Corps and meets Dori Lawrence before shipping out. Mark and Dori are a perfect match of misfits introduced by a friend, Sue Dubois, whose mother is suing Mark. Dori has left the bright lights of Hollywood to fix her life and mental illness, while at boot camp, Drill Instructor Skeer is on a mission not only to train Mark, but to make a man out of the rebellious teenager. The two outcast lovers, with more than a dose of humor, cling to their romance in spite of obstacles from authorities and circumstances which stand in their way. Written by
Stateside breaks the mold of teen love stories. Though it might not appeal to a mass audience of younger teens, this movie appeals to people ranging from young adults to baby-boomers and gen-x-ers who lived through this period. The cast is stellar, and the direction seems solid and the camera-work deliberate. The real-life Marine experience of director of Reverge Anselmo brings a sense of realism to the film that is often lacking in pictures about the military which tend to be heavy with political rhetoric and are often written by people who experience wartime from Berkley CA.
This picture is enhanced by a spectacular soundtrack that compliments the film well. It's always a good sign for a film when major actors accept minor roles. Stateside finds Penny Marshall having an un-credited role as a nurse, and Carrie Fisher as Mrs. Dubios a part which is concentrated in mostly one scene. Val Kilmer and Joe Mantegna combine for about 15 minutes of screen time.
The reviews for this movie were mixed. However, I find it impossible to change the channel when it comes on TV, and it's quickly climbing my short-list of favorite films. Clearly not everyone will like this Stateside. It does have continuity issues, and there are some dialogue and plot details that don't make sense until the second or third time you see it. And I agree that the ending is slightly abrupt. However, if you're looking for a romantic movie or a hidden gem drama, you can do a lot worse with an hour and a half of your life.
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