Say Anything... (1989)
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Surprisingly deep, many-layered and pleasantly entertaining. The characters are interesting and the dialogue feels fresh and original even today. Great performance by John Cusack. Recommended
With Say Anything..., Cameron Crowe creates a sweet summer romance between John Cusack's well-meaning underachiever and Ione Skye's brainy valedictorian, that on the surface of it, is an echo of John Hughes' films, but not given to the the latter's excesses. The result is that it hasn't dated as badly. The film stands as a realistic portrait of whirlwind teenage love, sweetly comic, but also dramatically consistent, and begs the question whether the whirlwind necessarily need stop blowing. And can you underachieve is an all things, but still achieve in relationships? Or vice-versa? Say Anything... is deceptively simple, but should provoke thought, some of it nostalgic. A good ensemble cast of supporting characters completes the picture, and it's Cameron Crowe, so you know the music is well chosen too.
It's surprising that one of the more interesting characters from the 1980s came out of a teen romance story. I guess this is back when teen romance stories still had some credibility. I'm not sure who to give the credit of Lloyd Dobler to, Cusack or Crowe, but he is definitely a memorable character.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #83 in Time Out's The 100 Best Romantic Films
This movie ranks #150 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
This movie ranks #749 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #822 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000