She Gave Me a Pen

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Say Anything…
  • IMDB: link

“Get ready for greatness.”

say-anything-posterThe quote is stolen from the film as Llyod shares his love for Diane with his two best friends but I also think it’s appropriate for those who are getting ready to watch the film for the first time.  Cameron Crowe’s love story between the likeable slacker and the class brain “trapped in the body of a game show hostess” is pure movie magic and is indeed the stuff of greatness.

Llyod Dobler (John Cusack) is a friendly underachiever who everyone knows and likes.  The film begins with graduation and we learn that Llyod has no idea what to do with his future except maybe become a professional kickboxer and take Diane Court (Ione Skye) to the end of the year party.  Llyod has carried a torch for the beautiful but aloof valedictorian for years and the scene where he invites her to the party should bring smiles to every guy who has ever shot for the moon and asked out his dream girl.

To everyone’s surprise Diane agrees to go and they have a great time with the party.  Despite the misgivings of Diane’s father (John Mahoney) Diane falls for Llyod and a romance begins.  Obstacles crop up with her father’s disapproval and legal trouble and her scholarship overseas to England.  Can this unlikely couple stay together?

John Cusack has made a career playing comedic leading men who wear their hearts on their sleeves and has never been better than here as Llyod.  Ione Skye is lovely and plays the daughter caught between her father and her boyfriend perfectly.  The film is full of touching moments between the two including a tender moment in Llyod’s car as Diane comforts Llyod after they have made love for the first time.  The film is full of such moments, both moving and hilarious,  too numerous to list them all here.

Mahoney is one of many fine supporting performances including Lili Taylor and Amy Brooks as Llyod’s confidants and Joan Cusack playing a role she knows well as his sister.  One of the films funnier moments comes after Llyod and Diane’s breakup where Llyod tries to hang out with the guys at the Gas N Sip (Jeremy Piven, Loren Dean, and Patrick O’Neil) only to leave remarking to himself simply “that was a mistake.”  And if you’re a quick eye you can spot Chynna Phillips as Joe’s new love interest Mimi.

Say Anything… is a moving love story that includes some wonderfully funny and deeply emotional moments (one of which I quoted for the title of this review).  It’s my favorite film of Crowe or Cusack and a really cool DVD to have on your shelf.

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