SAY ANYTHING... (1989)



Brief Movie Synopsis [courtesy of The Internet Movie Database]:

A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian
fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.



"Cameron Crowe's debut film as a director is a joy to see. Mr. Crowe has done exactly the same thing here, in 1989's 'Say Anything', as he did eleven years later, in his masterpiece 'Almost Famous'. And that is: to create a batch of realistic and, most importantly, likeable characters within the framework of his movie. It's nearly impossible, from this writer's point-of-view, to NOT like each and every one of the characters Cameron has crafted. These characters ring true, and seem like people everyone would want to have as friends. 'Say Anything' is a pretty simple boy-chasing-girl story. But what makes it special are the characterizations of the boy and the girl, plus the girl's proud-as-a-peacock father, played perfectly by John Mahoney. This entire cast is first-rate, right down to the quirky (but completely believable) 'best friend', Corey, played nicely by Lili Taylor. But for me, the standout even among this band of standouts is Ione Skye, who portrays Diane Court, the object of John Cusack's desire throughout the film. I challenge any male of the species to not fall for Ione/Diane while watching this movie. Director/Writer Crowe has struck a perfect balance with Ione's character: she's smart -- very smart (she's just won a fellowship to a far-away European college), but she never flaunts this in the film. Ione's Diane is still accessible and real. Not at all snobbish or stand-offish. I'm no filmmaker, but in my mind that balancing act with respect to Miss Skye's character was probably no small task, in either writing, or in acting it out. .... Very good film. And I'm very sad I wasn't in Mr. Cusack's shoes during the making of this motion picture."

-- David Von Pein; January 2004

"The predictable surface of 'Say Anything' is constantly being cracked
by characters who think and talk like real people and by John Cusack's
terrifically natural, appealing Lloyd."

-- Excerpt from The New York Times; April 14, 1989


"This is one of the best films of the year -- a film that is really about something, that cares deeply about the issues it contains -- and yet it also works wonderfully as a funny, warmhearted romantic comedy. .... The romance between Diane and Lloyd is intelligent and filled with that special curiosity that happens when two young people find each other not only attractive but interesting -- when they sense they might actually be able to learn something useful from the other person. .... What's unique to this movie is how surefooted it is in presenting the ordinary everyday lives and rituals of kids in their late teens. The parties, the conversations and the value systems seem real and carefully observed. These teenagers are not simply empty-headed 'Animal House' retreads; the movie pays them the compliment of seeing them as actual people with opinions and futures. .... I was also surprised to find that the movie had a third act and a concluding scene that really concluded something. .... 'Say Anything' follows all of the threads of its story through to the end; we're interested in what happens to the characters, and so is the movie. .... 'Say Anything' is one of those rare movies that has something to teach us about life. It doesn't have a 'lesson' or a 'message,' but it observes its moral choices so carefully that it helps us see our own. That such intelligence could be contained in a movie that is simultaneously so funny and so entertaining is some kind of a miracle."

-- Roger Ebert; April 14, 1989


"Most people go to love stories in order to identify, in one way or another, with the lovers. Usually they are unworthy of our trust, especially in the modern breed of teenage movies that celebrate cynicism, vulgarity and ignorance. .... 'Say Anything' exists entirely in a real world, is not a fantasy or a pious parable, has characters who we sort of recognize, and is directed with care for the human feelings involved. When Entertainment Weekly recently chose it as the best modern movie romance, I was not surprised."

-- Roger Ebert; February 17, 2002