Owen Gleiberman
May 18, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Stateside

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
96 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/21/04
performer
Rachael Leigh Cook, Jonathan Tucker, Ed Begley Jr., Agnes Bruckner, Carrie Fisher, Val Kilmer, Joe Mantegna, Penny Marshall
director
Reverge Anselmo
distributor
Samuel Goldwyn Films
author
Reverge Anselmo
genre
Romance, Drama

We gave it a D

If you were looking for an actress to play a tempestuous, schizophrenic movie-slash-rock star, you might go for Courtney Love or Angelina Jolie, or maybe even Jennifer Connelly. But Rachael Leigh Cook? She was hardly wild enough to hold down the lead guitarist role in ”Josie and the Pussycats.” Yet here she is, costarring in a little hair ball of an indie romance called Stateside, in which she plays the beautiful, adored, but fatally unstable Dori, who’s like a throwback to Goldie Hawn’s lovable kook in that early-’70s howler ”Butterflies Are Free.”

Dori meets Mark (Jonathan Tucker, the kid in ”The Deep End”), whose spirit is about as free as that of a platypus. He’s a whiny, wimpy virgin who has somehow ended up in the Marines (his drill sergeant is played by a robotic Val Kilmer), and he falls into Dori’s eager, if unhinged, embrace. The way that all of this plays out is so unconvincing that I felt as if I was watching a lost Project Greenlight movie in which half the key scenes, after testing into the basement, had been chucked at the last minute.

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