Say Anything an endearing 80s artifact
In the hopes that spring is finally upon us, and in the honor of springtime being the time of love and hope and all that crap, I rented the quintessential 80s romance flick Say Anything. Starring a dashing but bumbling young John Cusack and the girl-next-door-on-steroids in Ione Skye, itís easy to see why Say Anything is such a likeable and lasting film. Itís amusing, entertaining and, ultimately so warm and fuzzy that itís practically growing fur.
While Better off Dead is easily the best of Cusackís 80s catalogue, in my estimation, Say Anything is deserving of its memorable status as an iconic teenage love story. This, Cameron Croweís first crack as director, sees Lloyd Dobbler, a somewhat neurotic, babbling, kickboxing-obsessed, recent high school graduate going after the girl of his dreams.
Cameron Crowe strikes me as both wildly overrated and still underappreciated. A lot of people talk about him as if heís some sort of maverick auteur that transcends Hollywood, which certainly isnít the case; his movies are extremely formulaic and somewhat generic, marked only by a certain, somewhat wholesome sense of style. Yet, because of this, Iím not sure that heís appreciated for the talented Hollywood writer and director that he is. He certainly doesnít operate above the studio system, but he works extremely well within it.
Almost Famous is the absolute best example Ė his semi-autobiographical chronicling of his younger years as a rock critic, which also happens to be perhaps the most rewatchable movie of the past decade. Say Anything isnít as good, but itís in the same league, keeping you engaged without really trying, not wasting any scenes or forcing anything at all.
The most notorious scene, of course, is Lloyd holding a boombox above his head to serenade the girl that broke his heart. While a classic moment, to be sure, you should note two things going into the film, lest you be sorely disappointed. 1) The scene lasts maybe 5 seconds and 2) heís playing a Peter Gabriel song. Itís hard to make Peter Gabriel any cheesier than he already is yet Cameron Crowe manages to pull it off Ė and it actually works. If thatís not a testament to Cameron Croweís ability as a filmmaker,
I donít know what is.
Just for fun, weíre connecting our Reel Review and Bottom Shelf together in six degrees using absurd logic and vague associations
- Anthony Edwards played Inspector William Armstrong in Zodiac
- Edwards was also in Northfork, a somewhat obtuse but still excellent effort from Mark and Michael Polish
- Nick Nolte played a priest in Northfork in an insanely over the top performance despite his never talking above a whisper
- Nick Nolte was banging Vicki Lewis for awhile there in the 90s
- She was in Pushing Tin with John Cusack
- Who, of course, was Lloyd Dobbler in Say Anything