Say Anything... is a 1989 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut), starring John Cusack and Ione Skye.
|Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Aspiring kickboxer Lloyd Dobler falls for valedictorian Diane Court at their high school graduation ceremony.
Lloyd lives with his sister Constance, a single mother, and has no plans for his future. Diane has had a sheltered academic upbringing and lives with her doting divorced father, who owns the retirement home where she works & is due to attend a fellowship in England at the end of the summer.
Diane accompanies Lloyd to a party, surprising their classmates. During a dinner at the Court household where Lloyd fails to impress Diane's family, Diane's father is informed that he is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Diane takes Lloyd to meet the residents of the retirement home and he teaches her to drive.
Their relationship grows intimate and they sleep together much to her father's concern. Lloyd's musician friend Corey (who has never gotten over her cheating ex-boyfriend) warns him to take care of Diane.
Diane's father urges her to break up with Lloyd, feeling he is not an appropriate match for her and suggests she give him a pen as a parting gift. Diane tells Lloyd she wants to stop seeing him and concentrate on her studies.
Devastated over the breakup, Lloyd seeks advice from Corey, who tells him to "be a man". Diane's father's credit cards are declined when he tries to buy her a luggage set.
At dawn, Lloyd plays "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, a song Diane loves, on a boombox under her open bedroom window. The next day, Diane meets with the IRS investigator, who explains that her father has been embezzling funds from his retirement home residents. He advises her to accept the fellowship, as matters with her father will worsen.
After Diane discovers cash concealed at home, her father tells her he stole the money to give her financial independence. Distraught, she reconciles with Lloyd at the gym where he trains.
Some time later, Diane's father has been incarcerated. Lloyd visits him in a federal penitentiary and tells him he will go with Diane to England; he reacts with anger.
Lloyd gives him a letter from Diane saying she cannot forgive him, but she arrives to say goodbye and they embrace. She gives him a pen, asking him to write to her in England. Lloyd escorts Diane, who is afraid of flying, on her flight.
- John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler
- Ione Skye as Diane Court
- John Mahoney as Jim Court
- Lili Taylor as Corey Flood
- Polly Platt as Mrs. Flood
- Bebe Neuwirth as Mrs. Evans
- Amy Brooks as D.C.
- Loren Dean as Joe
- Pamela Adlon as Rebecca
- Chynna Phillips as Mimi
- Jeremy Piven as Mark
- Eric Stoltz as Vahlere
- Jason Gould as Mike Cameron
- Philip Baker Hall as IRS Boss
- Joanna Frank as Mrs. Kerwin
- Lois Chiles as Diane's mother (uncredited)
- Joan Cusack as Constance Dobler (uncredited)
- Dan Castellaneta as Diane's teacher (uncredited)
Producer James L. Brooks said the inspiration for "Say Anything..." came from an incident where he saw a man walking with his daughter and wondered what would happen if the father committed a crime & his thoughts were used to create the story.
Christian Slater auditioned for the role of Lloyd Dobbler, but director Cameron Crowe was adamant about getting John Cusack. There was also a tie between Ione Skye and actress Jennifer Connelly for the role of Diane Court.
Ione Skye admitted on the film's audio commentary that there was definitely off-screen chemistry between her and John Cusack during filming & that had they not been involved with other people at that time, they probably would have gone home together the day they shot the scene where Lloyd teaches Diane to drive a stick shift.
Loren Dean, Peter Berg and Todd Field auditioned for the role of Lloyd Dobler; Dean eventually ended up playing the role of Joe.
The Smithereens were commissioned by Cameron Crowe to write the theme song for the movie, and they came up with the song "A Girl Like You," but he thought that the lyrics were too leading (outlining the entire plot), so he rejected it in favor of Peter Gabriel's song. "In Your Eyes".
The filming dates took place from February 29, 1988 at first and then from September to November 21, 1988.
"Say Something..." grossed $20,781,385 in the United States. In its opening weekend, it debuted at #3, grossing $4,058,496.
Worldwide, the film grossed $21,515,196.
"Say Anything" received a "98% Fresh" rating (39 fresh/1 rotten) at Rotten Tomatoes.
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert called Say Anything... "one of the best films of the year—a film that is really about something, that cares deeply about the issues it contains—and yet it also works wonderfully as a funny, warmhearted romantic comedy."
He later included it on his 2002 Great Movie list, writing, "Say Anything exists entirely in a real world, is not a fantasy or a pious parable, has characters who we sort of recognize, and is directed with care for the human feelings involved."
The film also had detractors.
Variety called it a "half-baked love story, full of good intentions but uneven in the telling."
Caryn James of The New York Times wrote that it:
"[... r]esembles a first-rate production of a children's story. Its sense of parents and the summer after high school is myopic, presented totally from the teen-agers' point of view. Yet its melodrama—Will Dad go to prison? Will Diane go to England?—distorts that perspective, so the film doesn't have much to offer an actual adult, not even a sense of what it's truly like to be just out of high school these days. The film is all charming performances and grace notes, but there are plenty of worse things to be."