It’s hard not to fall in love with Cameron Crowe’s ode to first love in the 80’s classic Say Anything
SAY ANYTHING (1989)
Starring John Cusack and Ione Sky
Written and Directed by Cameron Crowe
Released by Twentieth Century Fox
While John Hughes will always be known as the king of the 80s teen movie, my favorite film of the genre is Cameron Crowe’s ode to first love Say Anything. Yes, the premise is a cliché: loner misunderstood boy falls in love with beautiful overachieving girl. Yet for me this film stands out because it’s presented with incredible sweetness and more realism then most teen or romantic comedies I’ve ever seen.
In my ongoing theme of praising non traditional Hollywood male characters I LOVE the hero of this film Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack). Lloyd is the sensitive, optimistic type and all of his friends are girls.
Lili Taylor gives a hilarious performance as Cory, one of Lloyd’s friends who spends the film obsessed with her ex-boyfriend. You’ll want to download Cory’s song “Joe lies” immediately after hearing it.
I also love how Lloyd isn’t in love with a cheerleader or prom queen but rather smart girl Diane Court (Ione Sky). John Cusack gives an adorable performance as a boy who may not know what he wants to do in life, but knows he’s meant to be with Diane.
Diane is a girl who gave up having a social life in high school so she could get good grades and get a scholarship to college. Having no idea who he is when he first asks her out, Diane finds herself charmed by Lloyd’s sweetness and nervous banter.
Unfortunately for Lloyd, there’s another man in Diane’s life, her overprotective father James (John Mahoney). Diane believes in her father so much that when James begins complaining that Lloyd isn’t worth her time, she starts to wonder if he may be right. Ione Sky is great as the naÃ¯ve Diane, a girl who learns you can’t use rationality and practicality when it comes to matters of the heart.
Of all the things about this film I love how real these characters feel. Modern day teens have shows like Gossip Girl to look up to and yes while their fashions may be fabulous, shows like that create wildly unrealistic expectations of teen life. By the time most teens hit eighteen they haven’t had sex with countless partners and have complete freedom.
Instead they have passionate but awkward sex in the backs of cars and have concerned parents waiting for them at home. And when people do make mistakes, like James does in a very big way, there are very real and very serious consequences that come with that.
I doubt I’m ruining much for you to say that Lloyd and Diane end up together at the end, but what I like is that these young lovers aren’t simply happy to go to the prom together, they had to make life changing decisions to be together. And I don’t know about you but I’d rather have Lloyd Dobler serenade me with a boom box then have Chuck Bass take me out any day