Say Anything

In Movie Reviews, Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 3:15 am

A budding romance between noble underachiever 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. Writer-director Cameron Crowe steers this 1980s teen flick into instant-classic territory.

I had used the term “holds up well” in a couple previous reviews. I have watched Say Anything I would say about 100 times in my lifetime, be it just catching bits and pieces of it on TV when I see it is on and straight through. But for the Project, I decided to just dedicate myself to watching it like it was the first time I was seeing it.

In this mindset, I have to say the movie does not hold up well. Yes, Lloyd Dobler is still as adorable as ever. Ione Skye plays the innocent (hot) smart nerd nicely. But after being bombarded with so many of the “loner boy seeks hot girl” movies since this one was released, the plot is tired.

So you have to ask yourself: what else is there in the film beside the love story that can keep you interested. And this is where my problem with the film lies.

The relationship between Diane Court and her dad is uncomfortable to watch. Remember, the “overbearing parent” trend was just starting when this movie came out, and knowing what we know now, watching John Mahoney (yes, that is Frasier’s dad) manipulate his daughter just made me squirm. Even in the final jail scene between Cusack and Mahoney, there is an underlying protective creepiness that will not go away.

As usual Crowe holds the film together with music, and this movie does have one of the best soundtracks ever for a movie, anchored by the iconic “In Your Eyes” scene. And the supporting cast is strong (look for a cameo by a very young Jeremy Piven). But the movie lacks the deep emotional dramatic effect is strives so hard to achieve.

3 out of 5 stars


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