Say Anything, no really, I mean anything*

* I think this one is a 50/50 split love/hate relationship

As someone who had many moviefests with friends over the course of my formative years, including many 80s/early-90s staples including Cocktail, Untamed Heart, Breakfast Club, Empire Records, Pretty in Pink, etc etc…, I’m pretty surprised at myself that up until yesterday I had never seen Say Anything.  That’s a rather famous one to not be on the list.  The boom box.  The sneakers.  The Peter Gabriel.  And, um, Jeremy Piven, anyone?  That’s right, he’s the obnoxious drunk guy in the stupid hat who for some reason violently throws himself at John Cusak repeatedly.

Anyhoo, I suppose I might have been a little more impressed when I was 14, but I have to say, I don’t quite get it.  Even the generation-defining (okay, maybe that’s a little strong) moment of the boombox over the head wasn’t really that much of a climax of anything.  The sex scene didn’t even have a climax!  They had to say that they’d done it three times in the next scene so that you could be sure they even did.

So I’m a mixed bag on this one, but here are 10 Things.

Things I Hate about Say Anything:

1. Ione Skye

John/Lloyd, way to go for what you want, but I don’t get it at all.  Looking up the correct spelling of her name, I did find out that she’s the one who played Mrs. Veal (Anne/Egg/Bland’s mom) on Arrested Development, which is awesome, but I really don’t get the appeal.

2. Ione Skye’s lisp

From my imdb-trawling I also discovered that she’s British, so maybe that has something to do with it, but the girl does strange things with her mouth. 

That sounds wrong.

3. Everything that came out of Ione Skye’s mouth

(hee hee, okay, now I just can’t stop)

That is, Everything they gave Ione Skye to say.  Maybe it’s not her fault.  Maybe it’s just that her character made absolutely no sense to me.  Why did her dad’s tax problems mean that she had to break up with Lloyd again?  What did anything have to do with anything?  I’m glad they tried to put in family issues and everything, but the motivations behind what this girl says and does make no sense to me.  Way to write women, Cameron. 

Or are you just really sticking to your title there?  Or commenting on dating and gender roles (as long as she’s pretty it doesn’t matter what she’s saying)?  I don’t think this runs that deep.

4.  The ending

No, I don’t want Lloyd to go into the army, but I don’t like any of the lines about how what he does best is be Diane’s boyfriend.  Just because you don’t know what you want to do, doesn’t mean you need to be a pansy for this weird prissy girl (she worries about being prissy…and she is – she really doesn’t know how to act in social situations, and it’s not cute either).  I dunno, it’s like the heroine giving up her own life to just run off with the guy in lots of other movies.  It’s the opposite here, but it still makes me uneasy.  And he’s a cool guy, so no, I don’t think it fits with his character.  She’s not the one settling, he is.

5.  Lloyd presents Cocoon

This is in the Hate section because I thought that this was such a funny set up and that they really dropped the ball here.  #1 Who makes old people watch Cocoon and thinks it will make them feel better???  Are you telling them they’re aliens?  Are you reminding them they’re going to die?  I suppose I sort of automatically get it mixed up with Awakenings (aren’t they both Jessica Tandy?), but still!  Totally room for some crotchety old men to get offended or other hijinks ensue.  And #2, with the chalkboard sign, I kind of thought they were going to have John Cusack act out Cocoon, which would have been amazing!  But no, it’s pretty much a throwaway scene.  Great chalkboard title, though.

Things I Love:

6. John Mahoney

I am not a huge fan of everything they made his character do (again, things didn’t quite make sense to me), but he pulls it all off with panache.  Watch his face as the realization hits that he is viewing the precipice, that the downfall of everything he knows and loves is coming, as he sits alone in a tux in the bathtub and see a craftsman at his finest.  He always gives his all.  I love this actor.  And, oh my god, I just found out he’s British too!  My worldview is blown.  Well, you learn something new…

7. The rapping in the background when Lloyd goes to the guys behind the Sip and Somethingorother for help after the breakup

One second they’re pissed that he threw a beer over their heads and the next they start rapping on the fly, completely stealing the scene from whatever the hell the more important characters were saying in front of them.  I mean they could be saying anything (yuk yuk yuk)…  Okay, sorry.  This is the sort of random moment that makes these movies awesome.  Thank you Jeremy Piven, you weirdo.

8. That it’s set in Seattle.

I like Seattle.

9. John Cusack

He’s dreamy.  But really, he does a good job, and I’m happy when he finally gets to kiss the girl.  And he’s adorable in all his uncle moments.  He rightfully earned his spot as an 80s sweetheart.  And do the Cusacks require their siblings to also be in their films as part of their contract or something?

10.  The random appearance of Eric Stolz!

He’s the older host of the end-of-high-school party, in case you didn’t catch it.  I am starting to be of the opinion that any scene including Eric Stolz is gold.  I’m not entirely sure where all this is coming from (I used to dislike him intensely in Little Women when I was younger) but I am becoming a big fan.

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1 Comment

Filed under Movies

One response to “Say Anything, no really, I mean anything*

  1. I have already expressed to you my feelings about your feelings about this movie, but still…I really think if you had seen this during out epic high school moviefests then you would feel differently. Remember, Pretty in Pink would not be nearly as cool to us if we were to see it for the first time now, 10 years later. 🙂

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