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An independent 2010 film based on true stories about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy used by the United States military until recently. Decorated Marine Major Alexandra Everett is honorably discharged due to suspicions (which the film later confirms) that she is a lesbian. After returning home, she stops a shoplifting, and is asked to help a young girl named Saffron who participated. Saffron needs to either go into the military in a month, or go to jail. Alex takes her under her wing, preparing her for boot camp and military life. However, Alex's sexual preferences are soon aired out to the entire town, causing both her life and Saffron's to take turns for the worse.
This film provides examples of:
- Amazonian Beauty: Zig Zagged Trope. While Alex is undeniably attractive, as well as undeniably muscular, and is almost always wearing sleeveless tops, this isn't exactly a Fanservice kind of thing. Indeed, only two characters express attraction to her, and one character can't handle her being stronger than him all that well.
- Armored Closet Gay: Alex and her husband, because of "Don't ask, don't tell."
- Action Girl: Alex
- Based on a True Story: While the story itself is fiction, the circumstances behind it (Alex being thrown of the military because she's gay) were all too real before the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell."
- Book Ends: The film opens with Alex walking to her house with her duffel. It ends with Saffron walking to her house with her duffel. Even better in that Alex arrives around midday, and Saffron arrives at sunset.
- Bittersweet Ending: A very mild case, with the movie's epilogue of sorts opening with the announcement that "Don't ask, don't tell" has been overturned. While Alex is happy with her life, it does sting a little for it to happen so soon after she is discharged.
- Brick Joke: When Alex arrests Dale at the end, she mentions a citation for a broken sideview mirror, which he got trying to hit her with his car.
- Determinator: Once captured by Burner, she first stops him from raping her while her hands are tied, burns off her bindings with an stove-top flame (burning her wrists in the process), then deliberately blows up a meth lab, all in an effort to save Saffron.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Alex beats Dale at arm-wrestling, then punches him out. He tries to hit her with a car, stalks her, taking pictures to both prove she a lesbian and imply she's in a relationship with Saffron. He does, however, get his Just Desserts when Alex arrests him for operating a meth lab. Compare Turk, who also got the crap kicked out of him by Alex, but becomes one of her good friends.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Alex is a former Drill Sergeant, and gives Saffron a taste of the real deal on their first day, and uses it as a threat every now and then.
- Happily Ever After: Alex is living with the woman from the lesbian bar, and best of all, Saffron survived, and is now a Marine.
- Hide Your Gays: The reason Alex, and many real soldiers, got honorably discharged was because she wasn't good enough at hiding her gay.
- Kick the Dog: Burner was already an abusive, meth-head jerkwad. Then he tries to rape Alex, saying he's going to film it, and implying he already did the same to Saffron.
- Old Shame: Alex's lesbian past, once she is an officer.
- Retired Badass: Alex, although her retirement was forced.
- Semper Fi: It's right there in the title, so kind of a given that there are Marines.
- The Beard: Alex's Navy SEAL husband as well as Alex herself.
- Training Montage: Alex trains Saffron in self-defense and some military stuff in one of these.