"Say Anything" (1989)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Written By: Cameron Crowe
In Theatres: April 1st, 1989
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Corporat

In a charming tale of first love, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart of Diane Court (Ione Skye), an unattainable high-school beauty and straight-A student. It surprises just about everyone when she returns the sentiment. But Diane's overly possessive, divorced father (John Mahoney) doesn't approve and it will take more than the power of love to conquer all.

This is a wonderfully cute coming of age film that will make any cynical person think again about the trials and tests presented after falling in love. John Cusack and Ione Skye play two characters that present very real qualities, unlike many of the rom-coms out there both before and after this film was released. 

While the story may initially seem a bit one-dimensional, throwing us immediately into the love-story between Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court, the story soon becomes so much more than just a love story. They face real dilemmas, not trivial ones, and execute them in a real down to earth way. Together they show us that all the trouble, all the strife, with some determination and will all be worth it in the end. 

 “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen” – Truly, to know Lloyd Dobler is to love Lloyd Dobler. He’s a genuinely wonderful character, portrayed beautifully by John Cusack. The man is the sweetest thing to come out of a fictional story. Granted, many of his gestures may be considered “creepy” should one attempt them in reality today (the calls, the photos, and yes even that boombox moment) but in the movie he was just a boy in love. He treated Diane with nothing but respect – winning the hearts of so many both in and off the movie.  One of John Cusack’s best roles for sure. 

His friends are great additions to the film as well. I’m very fond of them and all their quirks.

The relationship between Diane and her father is a very poignant part of the tale. It is where the name of the film comes from after all. There is no doubt he loved his daughter. But the manner in which he showed and expressed it was ultimately what would drive them apart – well, that and some further revelations regarding his extracurricular activities behind his daughter’s back. By having the father guilty, it set the film apart further from other rom-coms of the time, such as Pretty In Pink. I think the development, both in this relationship, and between her and Lloyd, was gradual and perfectly paced. 

Say Anything is notorious for one scene in particular – you all know the one I mean, right? John Cusack standing beneath the window holding up the boombox. The hopeful and devoted expression. The slow zoom. One of the most iconic movie moments ever. Well this is the film where it all began. It is such a romantic gesture. So simple and incredibly cute. And one that just couldn’t be pulled off in movies of today. Imagine standing at the foot of someone’s window holding up an iPod? Or holding up a phone? Totally not the same! I also love the song “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel which plays. This was not originally intended to be the song, it was decided during post production. During filming there were others used until the decision was made. 

For sure this is one of the best teen movies out there. 

Final Rating: 4/5 Stars