Saturday, September 8, 2012

809. Say Anything (1989)

Running Time: 100 minutes
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Written By: Cameron Crowe
Main Cast: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor, Joan Cusack
Click here to view the trailer


As a side note, before I get underway here, I wanted to let everyone know that I probably won't be back on the blog until Tuesday. I have a couple of rough work days coming up and I just can't see being able to focus fully on movies until I get through them. Now then..."Say Anything"...

Lloyd Dobler (Cusack), a member of the graduating class of 1988, is going to ask out Diane Court (Skye). The only problem is that Diane really doesn't know who Lloyd is and aside from sitting with him in a mall food court, has never had anything to do with him. Diane is the class valedictorian, a straight A student and will be traveling to England in the fall due to a fellowship she's received. Diane's father, Jim (Mahoney), is more proud of her accomplishments than she is and wants nothing but the best for his little girl. Lloyd is a typical student, one who doesn't know where he'll be headed after high school, although he is really interested in kickboxing! When the fateful first phone call happens between Lloyd and Diane, the two establish that Diane is busy, but not so monumentally busy that she can't accompany Lloyd to the big year-end, class party. The two groggily stagger back home the following morning and the initial sparks fly. The two make plans to see each other again and before we know it, they're in the back seat of Lloyd's Malibu making love and listening to Peter Gabriel on the radio, as Diane holds Lloyd and tries to keep him from trembling - a truly gentle moment. Meanwhile, Jim Court is being investigated by the IRS. It seems he may be practicing some shady tactics at the nursing home that he owns and operates. Can Diane juggle a relationship with Lloyd, the trouble with her father and her preparation for England, or will Lloyd be left out in the rain?

There's nothing especially incredible or groundbreaking going on here, but on the other hand "Say Anything" is a totally harmless, fun, little movie. I've always been interested in Cameron Crowe's work and this is a fine debut for a director who would go on to make such blockbusters as "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous". I don't really have anything incredibly poignant or insightful to say about this film. I think a lot of people already have or will enjoy this one and it's not hard to see why it went on to become such a teen classic. Crowe manages to pack his script with some good, true to life dialogue that is able to overcome the otherwise cliche story and actually elevate it. There's also quite a bit going on and a host of interesting characters that you come to like. The actors do a fine job but I was particularly fond of John Mahoney, who I thought put forth the best effort and his scenes with Skye were just as effective (in a different way) than Cusack's. A favorite scene of mine didn't include a boom box, but rather a bathtub, as John Mahoney sits in it, dressed in a suit and starts to crack. For his entire life Jim Court put his daughter and her needs before even his own, never paying genuine attention to anyone else. When he finally decides to talk to a pretty redhead, it ends in embarrassment for him.

RATING: 7/10  Not sure how it will fair on the TOP 20, but nonetheless it's a fine film and one that, like I said, a lot of people are going to enjoy.


September 8, 2012  3:06pm

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