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Overall Rating
4.6

Awesome67.9%
Worth A Look: 27.16%
Average: 3.7%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 1.23%

6 reviews, 45 user ratings


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Say Anything...
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by Chris Parry

"It took a while, but it won me over."
5 stars

Long time viewers may have seen that, back in the day, I gave this flick a fairly middling review. I liked it plenty, but it was nowhere near the standard of film that everyone was telling me it was. I can't explain the change in my perception, but over the past few years, there certainly has been one. I've sat and watched it late at night on TV, and I've seen new things every time. I've picked up on the nuances of the characters, I've noticed how well it holds up almost 15 years later, and I've not grown any less fond of anyone concerned. Bottom line, Say Anything won me over. I get it. And I'm glad.

Certainly John Cusack's portrayal of Lloyd Dobler, all round nice guy and new age romantic, is very funny and even at times 'touching'. He's in love with Diane Court - valedictorian and queen geek, though with a body to die for. Dobler is out of her league, but he's on a mission. He's ready to tackle this 'dare to be great' situation head on, and when he finally calls her up (against the advice of best friend Corey, played by the always strong Lili Taylor), he just about manages to fudge his way to a date, on pure cajones alone.

Certainly there's enough humor and quotable material in the screenplay to make the whole viewing experience very enjoyable, not to mention memorable, but it's Crowe's characters that really ensure that this is a film we can not only watch over and over, but relate to, and even learn from. Every character is real - not cartoonish or Hollywood, but real. Corey is a songwriting depression-head, hung up on a real 'guy', even though she knows he's scum. The 'guys', who spend their evenings drinking beer outside the Gas'n'Sip, are the same guys I hated in school, who always managed to convince everyone they were cool, even though we all knew they really weren't. Lloyd's late night encounter with them is the stuff of legends:

"How come if you guys know so much about women, you're sitting here at a Gas'n'Sip, at 3am, all alone, drinking beer, with no women anywhere?"

"...By choice!"

The image of Cusack standing with ghetto blaster held aloft playing easy listening love songs to his chosen one perhaps falls short of the "oooh-aaah" effect it held back when Peter Gabriel's "Your Eyes" was still fresh in the memory, but the scene has been paid homage to so many times, that on pure pop culture value alone, it's worth a look.

The film's real problems lies in its female lead. Ione Sky is a droning non-interesting love interest, while those around her are spark-plugs. She's just not up to the task, and frankly her character is the least likeable of the entire picture (including one who ends up in prison). She's a whiner, a weakling, and when you get right down to it, a cow. ("I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.")

But Cusack makes every scene worth sitting through, even if you wish he'd tell Ione to jam her "too busy for love" routine right up her tight little short-skirt wearing poop-chute. He's just incredible, and you have to think a lot of his dialogue and mannerisms were just Cusack being Cusack. It's just too natural. He's the guy that guys want to be if only they could one day stop being 'guys' for a while. It's great to see him playing opposite his sister Joan once more, this time as his sister, and I really can't fault a damn thing he does in this entire movie.

Cameron Crowe, the writer/director also responsible for Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, can sure write up a storm. There are so many great 'quotable' lines ("Don't be a guy. Be a man. The world is full of guys.") throughout this flick that it's no wonder Crowe stepped up to the next level and is now one of the hottest directors around. He didn't make a movie here, he made a memory.

In the era it was made in, Say Anything would have had a lot less going for it than it does presently, because as a look back to the 80's, it's an incredible trip. If you miss the 80's, dig a romance and always waited for the expected kickboxing boom (sport of the 90's, you know) then go find Say Anything and get you some Li'l Johnny Cusack. It's a hell of a nostaliga trip, a hell of a date movie, and a hell of a nice way to spend a rainy Saturday. Props.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1013&reviewer=1
originally posted: 02/02/99 10:56:24
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User Comments

2/07/11 PAUL SHORTT SKILFUL TEENAGE COMEDY-DRAMA 3 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White Cusack is at his best 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies John Cusak quivering in the backseat... oh baby 4 stars
10/21/07 Chris I like the movie, weird though because the girl he's after is not hot 4 stars
5/18/07 Nat Super poignant teen flick! Love that John Cusack..."In your eyes, the light the heat...." 5 stars
3/22/07 yooper Still a miracle after almost two decades! 5 stars
7/31/05 yuko john cusack is my ideal boy friend in the movie! 5 stars
4/23/05 Jeff Anderson The best movie of it's kind since THE SURE THING. John Cusack & Ione Skye RULE THIS FILM!!! 5 stars
10/13/04 chelsea my fav movie of all time! great quotes, great characters, great story! i love it!!! 5 stars
8/27/04 Mike Stanbridge best Cusack film of all time! 5 stars
7/17/04 legend On of John Cusacks better film choices. Very enjoyable. 4 stars
6/24/04 John McCarthy This is an amazing movie. Problem is that guys like Lloyd in real life never get the girl. 5 stars
4/10/04 IP Freeley this shit is totally gay 1 stars
10/14/03 Erik Van Sant Crowe's last great film. Jerry McGuire followed and made me hate people. 5 stars
10/12/03 laura paterson John cusack's best character. marry me lloyd! 5 stars
7/19/03 Rachel NOT a teen movie. For people who enjoy fun, but also serious dramas. One of my favs. 5 stars
12/19/02 Kyle Phenomenal, John Cusack gives a great performance. 5 stars
7/30/02 The Bomb 69 a movie that could actually happen in my hometown, REAL!!! 5 stars
4/02/02 Vitality1 John Cusack is a god. This movie is one of the best! 5 stars
3/27/02 carly anyone who can't relate to this movie hasn't been living 5 stars
2/06/02 Claxner Oxjaw Ione Skye so sweet - why's she since disappeared from movies? 4 stars
2/04/02 iallen I love watching the love story between these two characters, flawed but real. 5 stars
1/08/02 Kat Love it. Cusack's just adorable. I just discovered movie and can watch over & over. 5 stars
12/20/01 Will look, people always rave about this, frankly I don't see the big deal at all 3 stars
12/12/01 slappy jacks um yeah good! 5 stars
12/05/01 Sarah No matter how many times I watch this movie, it never gets old. 5 stars
12/04/01 Andrew Carden The Worst Rat Pack Flick, but Has It's Moments, and Segall Shines. 3 stars
7/27/01 Elvisfan Loved Lili Taylor/Loren Dean more than the leads, to be honest 5 stars
6/28/01 Steve Awww, dissed in the Malibu..that's your caste, man! 5 stars
6/26/01 ThatGuy Hands down, the best Brat Pack movie. 5 stars
5/24/01 moose I looved the romance, music, and humour. Brings out that "fluttery" feeling in your stomac 5 stars
1/28/01 Scott Awesome, I fall in love with Lloyd every time I watch this film. 5 stars
9/07/00 The Bomb 69 ultimate love story, Lloyd is a great character 5 stars
4/04/00 Casper Lloyd is the most endearing character penned in a long time. A modern day C.C. Baxter. 5 stars
6/25/99 Andrew P. In GPB Cusack kills Benny the Jet. In this, he mentions him. Coincidence? I think not. 5 stars
5/28/99 Lisa Perhaps the best "teen romance" movie ever! John Cusack is amazing. 5 stars
4/26/99 Blythe Lloyd is a God. Something about him just breaks my heart everytime. 5 stars
4/20/99 Lovebug Cusack is perfect as lovestruck Lloyd. Lili Taylor's guitar stylings are hilarious! 5 stars
4/19/99 byte me Cusak is amazing. rent it and smile 5 stars
4/06/99 Annearchy, Damme, Satanne This movie is every girls dream. Yet, alas, Lloyd Dobler fails to exist in reality. 5 stars
3/28/99 TJwills What can you say but John Cusack!!!!! 5 stars
2/07/99 roxy i want a lloyd dobler :( 5 stars
10/24/98 {{{OZ}}} You can't beat Cusack at any age. Some of his best stuff right here. 5 stars
9/26/98 Pat Flanagan The movie that introduced me to Cusack and led me to Grosse Point Blank. "You must chill!" 5 stars
9/17/98 cheryl_ann you can't get much better than this. john cusack is a god. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Jan-1989 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A (M)


Directed by
  Cameron Crowe

Written by
  Cameron Crowe

Cast
  John Cusack
  Ione Skye
  John Mahoney
  Lili Taylor
  Amy Brooks
  Pamela Segall



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