Friday, May 21, 2004

STATESIDE: A small film with a bevy of name actors in it, including Rachel Leigh Cook, Val Kilmer, Ed Begley, Jr., Joe Mantegna, Diane Venora, Carrie Fisher, and Penny Marshall in a cameo. It follows the soon-to-collide lives of Mark (Jonathan Tucker, who was last seen as that crazy-haired, cap-wearin' friend in the TEXAS CHAINSAW remake) and Dori (Cook). Mark is responsible for a wreck involving his friend's lusty girlfriend Sue (Agnes Bruckner) and his Catholic high school (principal?) Father Concoff (Begley, Jr.). So before being shipped off to the military as punishment, he goes to greet Sue, recently shipped to a mental hospital by her mom (Fisher) for the slutty things she has done. Lo and behold, her roommate is the famous actress-turned-crazy Dori Lawrence, where the beginnings of a wonderful love affair are about to begin...But time for the military, where Mark is whipped into shape by the sleepwalking Val Kilmer (this is about as amusing to watch as anything on screen today, guys, I'm serious...It's hilarious camp watching Kilmer be a drill instructor). So, now that training is over, Mark goes "stateside" to reunite with old friends, including the girl he met briefly before, and then the real love story begins. The complication is that Dori is schizophrenic and needs to get better, and this damn love thing is just not the right thing for her right now. This movie is decent timewasting material, a pleasant counterprogram to the SHREK 2 and TROY and VAN HELSING summer, in fact, I would say it's more enjoyable than watching those movies (especially's just a plain better movie than that). I thought singularly good was Cook's performance. Rachel Leigh Cook burst on the scene with SHE'S ALL THAT and turned it into one unmemorable movie after another, and time will probably look back at STATESIDE as yet another one of those, but I found her to be endearing.


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