Summer Watchlist: Say Anything

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: 20TH CENTURY FOX, GRACIE FILMS
Say Anything is the second movie in our Summer Watchlist series.

Over the summer, I have made it a goal for myself to watch 100 films that I have not seen before. Each week I will be writing my honest thoughts on some of the movies I have watched over the course of the next few months. As a film student and film junkie, I am excited to take you all on this journey.

This week, I decided to watch the 1989 romantic classic Say Anything, starring John Cusack and Ione Skye. Say Anything is about two high school seniors, Diane Court and Llyod Dobler, who fall in love with each other over the course of the summer. But, Diane is also leaving for college and her father asks her to break up with Lloyd. Over time, she finds herself confiding in Lloyd as some things about her dad start to spill.

This film takes the classic tale of two people falling in love but adds the idea that life isn’t always perfect. For example, we meet Diane who comes from a very rich family but later discovers that her father is a fraud. My overall first impression of the film was that it was a great story for its time.

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Say Anything was written and directed by Cameron Crowe, and produced by James L. Brooks (The Simpsons). It is notably known as one of John Cusack’s most iconic films. The scene where he is standing outside of Diane’s house holding the boombox blaring In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel probably has to be one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history.

There was a scene closer to the beginning of the film that really introduced us to Llyod and Diane. For instance, we have Diane, a high school senior who spent most of her time focused on her studies, and Llyod Dobler who is the polar opposite and can sometimes be made out to be a bit of a troublemaker.

From a cinematic approach, the cool tones of the environment meeting the vibe of the costumes and prop choices gave the film a real 1980s feel to it. As someone who loves the 80s and romantic movies, this movie was absolutely beautiful. The graininess added to the whole experience.

I personally like how the writer took an idea about a simple love story but added some layers to it. In the beginning, Diane is made out to be the picture-perfect girl with the picture-perfect life, but we slowly learn that her life is not as perfect as it was made out to be. Her homelife is actually the complete opposite and we learn more about that over the course of the film.

Although I enjoyed the movie there was one thing that upset me, and that was the end of the movie. The last couple minutes of the film feature Diane and Llyod on a flight that is about to take off. Diane is very anxious and Llyod is calming her down, but then the bell rings and the screen goes black. I felt as if they were anticipating something that was going to happen.

Other than the ending, I enjoyed the movie. I am a huge sucker for a good John Cusack film and a great love story.  Plus if their goal was for the audience to fall in love with Llyod, I think they captured that feeling very well.

Besides the scene where Llyod is holding the boombox blasting his love for Diane, the scene where he points out the glass, so Diane does not step on it has a very gentleman-like feeling to it and is part of the reason I fell in love with the character.

I really enjoyed experiencing this film for the first time and I am excited to experience more films as the summer goes on.