Say Anything (1989)
October 27, 2009
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Very first Gen-X romantic comedy.
A budding romance between noble under achiever Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and high school valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) is threatened when Diane’s overly possessive, disapproving father (John Mahoney) interferes with their relationship. With a prized scholarship to study abroad hanging in the balance, Diane must find a way to make both men happy.
The one thing that I first realized about this film was that the whole love part of the film didn’t feel exploited or shown in any wrong way.
The film was written and directed by Cameron Crowe, who also made one of my other favorite high school comedy films, Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Crowe shows us with his screenplay that he knows how young people talk, interact, and even how their moods change from time to time. Crowe also shows the randomness of life, with the uprising things that happen in life when you have fallen in love.
The one thing that really touched me about this film was it’s sense of realism. It all seemed so real with it’s underlying messages about the future, and the little father-daughter relationship. All of it felt so real and not so much of as it was a really dumb film.
Unfortunately for me, this film flopped like a dead fish. It tripped over its own heels, alternately over-dramatic and sappy love story. One minute were on the edge of our seats with her father under investigation, the next minute Lloyds sobbing over her in the rain. Sometimes I felt like the film moved away from it’s comedy element and just stayed a little too much on the romantic element.
I do have to give a lot of props to John Cusack who is so good at playing that lovable loser that we all know and love him for. He makes this character a lot more likable because of his desperate attempts to have this girl like him, and also his little insight on how he interacts with his family. I also enjoyed John Mahoney and thought he gave a very good portrayal of a father trying to come to terms with his own life and his daughter’s life.
Consensus: One of the best Generation X films. Though it’s not perfect it shows a great realistic look on love with a fresh screenplay and a very likable performance from Cusack, Say Anything is one of the best modern romantic comedies in a long time.