Forgotten Fridays: Say Anything

Thanks for checking out our Forgotten Fridays feature. This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.

This film also serves well for St Valentines Weekend because today, we review: Say Anything


Written & Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Starring: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Joan Cusack and Lili Taylor

Released:April 14, 1989

“To know Lloyd Dobler is to love him. Diane Cort is about to know Lloyd Dobler”

THE GENERAL IDEAAfter high school graduation, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) gets the courage to ask out Diane Cort (Skye), who was not only their class’ valedictorian, but an attractive young lady and whose father, Jim (Mahoney) is upper class. Lloyd is an all around nice guy with a sense of offbeat humor and is an aspiring kickboxer. Diane falls in love with him over the summer, but coming pressure of her going to England to further her studies and unexpected family trouble puts the whirlwind romance in jeopardy. Lloyd is determined to win her back, and her heart.

THE GOOD, no, excuse me, THE GREAT
A perfect cast. Not one bad apple in the bunch. The iconic scene of Dobler holding up the boom box and Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” echoes throughout the lands; Lili Taylor’s Cory Flood and her emo garage band breakup songs, ‘the break up” and a pen to write. (I got a pen like that once. She wrote back twice then I never heard from her again. I still have the pen from ’91, but only as a momento. We were only friends though, left on good terms and…oh wait, I’m supposed to be talking about the film…sorry) A father worried about his daughter. Bebe Neuwerth and Eric Stoltz at a house party. Lloyd touching a model of the human brain, followed by skimming through a massive dictionary with endless marks and notations.

The film also touches upon themes of what young people want to do with their lives, even if they didn’t give it much thought. The main characters’ motivations are clearly understood. Diane accepts Lloyd’s first date offer because she studied so hard she rarely socialized and that because of being attractive and smart some boys avoided her. When she arrives at the party, she isn’t rejected nor made to feel unwelcome. One girl even comes up to her and says she followed her example and studied harder, got better grades. In addition, Lloyd is well respected and a friend to all (a trait I could relate to, since I was something like that in my high school years) and being with him actually “ups” her status among the peers. When she gets home, she feels some guilt that she didn’t know more people from her class, or didn’t know them enough. But her interest in Lloyd increases.

THE (NOT-SO) BAD There is a small bit of disappointment regarding the plot turn of Diane’s loving, caring father turning out to be a shady businessman. The scenes were well handled, the acting is terrific. I didn’t really mind the sub-plot; but as much as I love the film I would have preferred that Jim wasn’t under this mircoscope at all. The film spent a lot of time building up the father-daughter relationship, and we see that the father cares about his daughter. We see that he cares about other people. Instead, his true actions are shocking. It also sends the wrong message (can’t it just be a caring, upper class single father?), and seems out of place with the rest of the film.

There are so many great things about this movie, if I listed them all, I might as well write a novel. The film puts a smile on my face and keeps me glued the whole time. It has the right balance of drama and comedy, yet it can’t be classified as a ‘rom-com’, that’s simply putting it in a box and giving it a label that does not belong. A lot of folks love the 80s films of John Cusack, and this is the best evidence as to why. It’s too bad that Ione Skye hasn’t had much success after ‘Say Anything’, – but she does show up in bit parts (Zodiac) from time to time. I would like to see her get bigger or better supporting roles though. I would dig a Lili Taylor comeback too.

You might get the idea that this is one of my favorite movies of all time. You would be correct.

Since all of these Forgotten Friday reviews are going to be what I would already give a high rating to, I had a Tv, Rent or Buy scale going on, but it would seem that an overwhelming majority of my picks get a BUY rating. So with every Forgotten Friday you see from now on, you get to rate your anticipation for yourself!

TV If you are at least a little curious, catch it if it comes on TV.

Rent If it is something you have heard of and forgotten, or just remember enjoying this as much as I did once upon a time, go rent it.

Buy But if you are like me, and you agree with my review you should go buy it. If its featured here, I already have.

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About Darren

"Revenge is sweet and not fattening." Alfred Hitchcock

4 thoughts on “Forgotten Fridays: Say Anything

  1. Oh yea, John Cusack was the iconic 80’s ‘hopeless romantic under-achiever clumsy big-hearted boyfriend nice guy who finished last’ actor. My favorite Cusack film, ‘One Crazy Summer’.

  2. Saw it again the other day and it still holds up just a good as any other “Classic”.

    Cant hear the song “Billie dont lose that number” and not think of this film.(the girls dad singing in the car).

    and what happened to the young actress in this?(Ione Skye) she was my fantasy girl of the 80’s.
    she had another film that year with some british kid talking to the camera and she was his lover or something. (whoa-man she got pounded in that film) the last thing I’ve seen her was in “Four Rooms”

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