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Overall Rating

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...
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Natasha Theobald

"Fall in love with the world through the eyes of Lloyd Dobler."
4 stars

"Say Anything..." marked a moment in time for a generation. We saw the movie. We bought the soundtrack. And, though we don't like to admit it, we still get a little mushy when we hear "In Your Eyes" at weddings.

This is the only movie I have ever seen in the theater by myself. I was in high school when it came out, still not old enough to drive, so my dad dropped me off at the door. I walked into a theater that was already dark, took a seat at the side, and sat for the film I had been so highly anticipating. I was not disappointed. Then, the lights came up, and I realized I had sat directly in front of a whole row of people from my school, people cool enough to have come with actual companions. I was mortified. But, John Cusack was worth the embarrassment.

I had already fallen in love with John Cusack as Walter Gibson in "The Sure Thing." I knew he was irresistible -- funny and smart and captivating. Lloyd Dobler is his last and, perhaps, best portrayal of a teenager. He spoke volumes for us and to us, and we swooned. I could assert that Lloyd Dobler might be considered a new archetype for disaffected youth, but the character is far too complex to be reigned in by such definitions. He has different priorities than those who went before him. He doesn't want to join the daily grind and chooses to wait, instead, for a "dare to be great situation." He is not about bullshit, giving it out or taking it from anyone else. He is simple in the best way possible, straightforward and true, to himself and the people he loves. He knows what he wants, to a point, and he knows that it's O.K. not to know the rest right now.

What he wants is Diane Court, the valedictorian "trapped in the body of a game show hostess." She is smart and pretty and a bit mysterious in that she has thus far been inaccessible. But Lloyd sees something in her. She is missing something that he can offer, someone like him to love her. He calls her up and pleads to see her in the only way that could ever work, his way, and she says yes. Their compatibility is not obvious to anyone on the outside, but the pull between them is too strong for the naysayers. There is a spark of recognition, a connection that eludes description, something cosmic, perhaps, that brings them to one another.

Diane has another man in her life, though -- her father. Since his divorce, he has devoted himself tirelessly to the care of the people in his retirement home and to his daughter. He wants the best for her, including an education overseas, and he fears that Lloyd may be the obstacle to derail her locomotion to the top. What he sees is an aimless young man more interested in kickboxing and hanging out than in planning and producing results. James Court is a man who likes results, even if he has to fudge a little to get them. Diane has to decide whether to rely on her brilliant mind or follow her less certain heart.

Writer-director Cameron Crowe sealed his destiny with this movie. Something about this collaboration let it rise above the doldrums of teen drama and the cuteness of romantic comedy. Just like its characters, the film defies easy categorizations. It is hysterically funny without falling into a story designed around comic bits. It is tensely dramatic without crossing into TV movie of the week territory. It is unsentimentally romantic. It is, like Lloyd, sincere and supremely lovable.

I guess Ione Skye could be a game show hostess. She doesn't seem like the obvious choice, but this is a movie about not making the obvious choices. Lloyd Dobler loves her, and who are we to question it. John Mahoney is wonderful, as always, as James Court. His eyes say more than most actors could ever verbalize. We don't necessarily like the father, but we don't really wish him ill, either. He seems trapped by the same high expectations with which he hopes to control his daughter. We pity his lack of vision.

John Cusack is so good as Lloyd Dobler that he will probably never be able to fully extricate himself from the persona granted to him by Lloyd. We want to believe that part of Lloyd still lives in him, and maybe he does. Cusack is fairly guarded, so the little we know of him is gleaned from what we see on screen, which is probably the way many actors prefer it. The compliment in this is that Cusack breathed such life into the character that he sort of exists on his own.

Look for countless great actors in supporting roles, adding realism and color to the procedings. Lili Taylor is Corey, Lloyd's confidant, an aspiring songwriter and veteran of the battlefield of love. Loren Dean is Joe, the guy who broke her heart. It's hard to believe a character could be this dim, but the vacant smile and vague lack of recognition in the eyes is awe-inspiring, hitting just the right note. Joan Cusack is Constance, Lloyd's sister. She adds welcome freshness to any movie at any time. Bebe Neuwirth is the type of school counselor high school guys dream about, and Eric Stoltz is a guy who graduated but didn't quite leave. Jeremy Piven is billed as Mark and has a couple of funny parts in scenes with the guys. Jason Gould is irritatingly funny as the guy with the worst hair ever who can't hold his liquor and doesn't remember where he lives. Philip Baker Hall is the taxman you can't help but trust.

This is the kind of movie that you can watch years later and still have the same emotions stirred up that stirred up the very first time. If you don't feel as young as you used to, it always helps to visit with an old friend who remembers you when....

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originally posted: 07/26/02 13:40:12
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User Comments

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
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  01-Jan-1989 (PG-13)


  N/A (M)

Directed by
  Cameron Crowe

Written by
  Cameron Crowe

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

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