The preceding scene is Lloyd Dobbler’s response to the burning question: What do you want to do with your life? This is why the world fell in love with John Cusack. This is why the world fell in love with Cameron Crowe. This is why the world fell in love with Say Anything.
While Crowe got his start as a screenwriter working on the legendary and beloved teen comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Cusack his working bit parts in similar teen films such as Sixteen Candles and The Sure Thing, both’s careers really took off with the warmhearted romance film Say Anything. Though today remembered mainly for its iconic grand romantic gesture (you know the one), the film has a lot more to offer than that.
Cusack plays a lovable, kindhearted aspiring kickboxer, Lloyd Dobler. Slightly odd concept, John Cusack as a professional athlete. He falls for Diane Court (Ione Skye), who soon falls for him. But there’s an obstacle: her overprotective father. Fortunately, the film avoids painting Mr. Court as a caricature. He is believable, he’s understandable, he’s no cartoon.
There’s a secondary plot involving an IRS investigation, but the main thrust holding the film together is the central romance. If Skye and Cusack don’t play well off each other, the whole film falls apart. Luckily, we never have to deal with that problem. They’re perfect together, one of the best movie romances of all time. Adorable is the word to describe Say Anything. Plenty of filmmakers can inspire awe, only a select few can truly inspire “aww.”
Cameron Crowe isone of the best rom-com directors. He gave us Jerry Maguire, and Say Anything is arguably his masterpiece. A moving piece of heartwarming cinema with a slight air of naivete, Say Anything transcends its genre and its era to craft one of film’s most memorable romances, truly deserving an A+.