Saturday, April 11, 2009

Say Anything... (1989) [PG-13] *****

It's graduation day at Seattle's Lakewood High. Diane Court (Ione Skye) is the valedictorian; she took college-level courses and gave up her social life, with the result that most of her classmates don't really know her. One of them, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), was an underachieving student who worshipped Diane from afar. Lloyd has a group of gal pals with whom he shares confidences, and they've tried to convince him that he has no chance with Diane, but he is optimistic. Diane lives with her father (John Mahoney), who runs a nursing home; when he and Diane's mother divorced, she chose to live with him.

When Diane wins a fellowship to study in England her father is thrilled, but when Lloyd calls and convinces Diane to go to an all-night graduation party, her father is less than overjoyed. There's drinking and yearbook signing, and Diane rediscovers the friendships with other students she had lost. She also discovers that Lloyd is a refreshing change. It's clearly a case of opposites attracting, and while Diane knows she's leaving for England in the fall, she and Lloyd find themselves falling in love with one another. And then two IRS agents show up and inform Mr. Court that he's under criminal investigation for tax evasion. Naturally, Diane feels guilty about spending time with Lloyd rather than her father, and so she breaks up with Lloyd, leaving him bitter and disillusioned.

Written and directed by Cameron Crowe this is a true-to-life story about the elation and heartbreak of young love. There's a great screenplay, with some memorable dialogue, and a terrific soundtrack. John Cusack and Ione Skye have wonderful romantic chemistry, and there's an excellent supporting cast including Joan Cusack, Lili Taylor, Amy Brooks, Jeremy Piven, Loren Dean and Pamela Segall. If you enjoyed SinglesSome Kind of Wonderful and The Sure Thing, you won't want to miss Say Anything.

Labels: comedy, drama, high school, romance, teenager
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 86/100
Rottentomatoes Averages (critics=80, viewers=72)