Say Anything

1989, Movie, PG-13, 100 mins


A far cry from the standard Hollywood teen romance, SAY ANYTHING is the extraordinary directorial debut of Cameron Crowe (who adapted his own novel for the hilariously inventive FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH). Set in Seattle, Crowe's wonderfully nuanced screenplay develops a complex triangular relationship involving a gifted and ambitious high-school graduate, Diane Court (Ione Skye), her doting father, James (John Mahoney), and Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), the likable, underachieving classmate who falls for her. The relationship of father and daughter is tested when Diane is wooed by Lloyd, an Army brat who lives with his unmarried sister (real-life sibling Joan Cusack) and her young son (Daniel Will-Harris). His best friends, Corey and D.C. (Lili Taylor and Amy Brooks) know just how sensitive, creative, and loving Lloyd is. Diane, too, is won over by Lloyd's generosity of spirit, but her father wants nothing to stand in the way of her success, and pressures her to break up with Lloyd. Seldom have such complexity, emotional depth, honesty, and realism been invested in what is ostensibly a teen love story. Crowe's script is full of careful observations, and his camera unobtrusively serves the spot-on production design, the witty but believable dialog, and especially the outstanding performances by Skye (RIVER'S EDGE; A NIGHT IN THE LIFE OF JIMMY REARDON), Mahoney (MOONSTRUCK; SUSPECT; BETRAYAL), and Cusack, whose Lloyd Dobler is an exceedingly winning portrayal. leave a comment

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