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Say Anything...

By Jeff Shannon

Seven years after he earned his first screen credit as the writer of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, former Rolling Stone writer Cameron Crowe made his directorial debut with this acclaimed romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Ione Skye as unlikely lovers on the cusp of adulthood. The casting is perfect, and Crowe's rookie direction is appropriately unobtrusive, no doubt influenced by his actor-loving, Oscar®-winning mentor, James L. Brooks. But the real strength of Crowe's work is his exceptional writing, his timely grasp of contemporary rhythms and language (he's frequently called "the voice of a generation"), and the rich humor and depth of his fully developed characters. In Say Anything... Cusack and Skye play recent high school graduates enjoying one final summer before leaping into a lifetime of adult responsibilities. Lloyd (Cusack) is an aspiring kickboxer with no definite plans; Diane (Skye) is a valedictorian with intentions to further her education in Europe. Together they find unlikely bliss, but there's also turbulence when Diane's father (John Mahoney)--who only wants what's best for his daughter--is charged with fraud and tax evasion. Favoring strong performances over obtrusive visual style, Crowe focuses on his unique characters and the ambitions and fears that define them; the movie's a treasure trove of quiet, often humorous revelations of personality. Lili Taylor and Eric Stoltz score high marks for memorable supporting roles, and Cusack's own sister Joan is perfect in scenes with her onscreen and offscreen brother. A rare romantic comedy that's as funny as it is dramatically honest, Say Anything... marked the arrival of a gifted writer-director who followed up with the underrated Singles before scoring his first box-office smash with Jerry Maguire.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Cameron Crowe

Stars: John Cusack, Ione Skye

Released: April 14, 1989

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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