I enjoyed every single moment of "Say Anything". It's the kind of movie that begins and ends by leaving the viewer in a good mood. It's a romantic comedy for smart cinephiles, a well-acted performer's show, and a rather fantastic debut from director Cameron Crowe. The man wrote and directed this film himself, so I guess it would be pretty accurate to call it "his movie". And it is his movie; but remember, it's also a movie which belongs to its star, John Cusack. They say this film launched more than one career, and maybe, just maybe, they're not kidding.
For all its humor and wit, "Say Anything" actually has something more going on. Sure, it's a funny and superbly crafted genre piece, but it's also kind of touching, and even I admit that. The best of John Cusack's roles come out of a film which leaves you feeling really good once it has finished, and this is another one of those (few, but cherished) films. If you like what's on display here, then there are already some good reasons to check it out.
The film stars Cusack as a typical down-on-his-luck loser named Lloyd, who somehow sneaks his way into a pretty (and very smart) girl's heart. He talks to her, makes her laugh, and soon they are on their way to some sort of relationship. But for now, they're just friends, but "friends with potential". Things are going somewhere indeed.
However, this girl has a father, and he's a strict guy. The father is visited by Tax Violation agents one night, for allegedly stealing from the nursing home (where the "girl" in this story works). He's on the run without literally going on the run, thus he must hide, and he must be safe. He fears for his little girl, who is about to go off to England for college, after getting a Scholarship. The father, in the meantime, wonders why any daughter of his would want to date a guy like Lloyd. Maybe she sees something in him that her father is too blind to observe.
The film works because it has its emotional ups and downs. It is an emotional roller-coaster ride of a movie, perhaps not the most memorable or the most impacting, but none-the-less one that works to great effect. The film has big laughs, and some good moments in which we really do care about these characters. The performances from John Cusack and Ione Sky are surprisingly sympathetic and not-so-surprisingly charming. John Cusack...man, I can gladly say that I love him most of the time. And when I love him, I tend to enjoy raving about his work in whatever film I am speaking of. He's had many roles, most of them pretty darn good, and here's the one that really got him noticed. So we have more to thank, for this film, than we may have thought.
The film is also thoughtful when it comes to observations of teenage life. Of course, there's a party scene, but it is one that is not sleazy, stupid or obnoxious; but rather intelligent and funny. "Say Anything" is a film that I can recommend to most people, as most with a beating heart will enjoy its wit, humor, and entertainment value. That is, as long as you like John Cusack, which you should, and if you like Cameron Crowe, which again, you should. Say anything you want about this movie; I went bananas for it.