New Review

Jonathan Tucker plays a prep school bad boy who learns manhood at Val Kilmer's hands, enabling him to love a schizophrenic pop star when he's Stateside.
New Review

By Laura Fries

Billed as "boy in flak jacket meets girl in strait jacket," Stateside is actually the tale of how a whopping dose of militarism, loopy writing, and ridiculous portrayals of mental illness can combine to thwart what should have been a lighthearted teen romance. Dori Lawrence (Cook) is a famous actress/rock star/schizophrenic - all of which is amply demonstrated in the first five minutes, as she goes from the set of a flick to the stage of a club where she sings, "I'm reckless, I'm reckless." Mark Deloach (Tucker) is a prep school bad boy, who smashes his car, and gets his butt hauled off to the Marines to avoid jail time - but not before meeting Dori in a mental hospital. Here is where the movie turns decidedly un-teen friendly: Mark's boot camp experience is seriously stomach-turning. Val Kilmer plays SDI Skeer with boredom; he can't even yell with conviction. He picks on young Mark because he is a "rich boy," punching him, exposing him to gas, all the while making pronouncements such as, "The only things we share with ragheads and communists is death." Finally, Mark turns on him, and beats him to the floor, making Skeer smile. This, apparently, is what he wanted: Mark is now a man, and the rest of the movie glosses over his military experience, focusing instead on the leave time he spends with Dori. Fortunately, she has the special kind of schizophrenia that is kittenish and


Dir. & writ. Reverge Anselmo; feat. Rachel Leigh Cook, Jonathan Tucker, Joe Mantegna, Val Kilmer, Carrie Fisher ( R )
cute: She wears big sweaters, has a messy haircut, and is prone to making off-the-wall comments that prove how truly reckless she can be. Cook was great in her other teen fare, but she's far too plastic to pull off her meatier scenes here. While their love scenes are sometimes tender, their relationship just doesn't make sense. Fortunately - and there is a spoiler here - she gets cured just in time to swoop down on Mark's bedside, as he recovers from losing an eyeball in Beruit. This flick was two hours and 15 minutes too long. •

By Laura Fries

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