Based on a novel by Peter Farrelly, published in 1988 before he became famous as a writer and director of such films as Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary, Outside Providence is a coming-of-age story set in the 1970s. Timothy Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy), known as Dunph to his friends and Dildo to others, is a high school burn-out with a gift for getting into trouble; it doesn't help that his best friend is named Drugs Delaney (Jon Abrahams), and it somehow makes sense that Dunph's pet would be a three-legged dog with one eye. Dunph's father (Alec Baldwin) is convinced his son is on the fast track to Palookaville, so when Timothy gets in a wreck with a police car, his dad pulls a few strings and enrolls him in a private prep school. Dunph quickly learns the biggest difference between his old friends at home and his new classmates: rich kids have money, and money buys privilege. They can buy drugs from expensive dealers who won't fink on them, and pay for abortions when their girlfriends get unexpectedly pregnant, instead of having to get married. Dunph doesn't entirely fit into a school full of rich kids, but when he falls in love with Jane Weston (Amy Smart), he's determined to win her heart. Peter Farrelly adapted his novel with the help of his brother and screenwriting partner Bobby Farrelly and director Michael Corrente, whose previous credits include the film version of David Mamet's American Buffalo.
by Mark Deming synopsis