Based on a true story, “Stateside” follows an outlaw rich kid, Mark Deloach (Jonathan Tucker), who lands in the Marine Corps to avoid jail.
When on leave, he meets and falls in love with the eccentric young pop star Dori Lawrence (Rachael Leigh Cook). The two fight for love in spite of a world of challenges that stand in their way, including her mental illness.
“I don’t think that the moral of the story is that ‘love’ is always the answer,” Cook has said. “The overriding theme could be that falling in love with the right person will make two people stronger.”
Besides Cook (“She’s All That,” “Josie and the Pussycats”) and Tucker (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Deep End”), whose performance is particularly strong here, the film features Agnes Bruckner, Carrie Fisher, and Joe Mantegna (of TV’s “Joan of Arcadia”).
“Stateside,” which opens May 21 and also ran at the Tribeca Film Festival, recently won the Best Independent Film Award at the 2004 Sonoma Film Festival.
– Carolyn Rummel