The year was
1989. We were getting ready to say goodbye to one of the most memorable
(and lovable) decades in history. It was also the year we were introduced
to one of the best films of all time.
John Cusack – boom box held high above his head (donning that typical
80s trench-coat-as-fashion-statement) with Peter Gabriel's "In Your
Eyes" blasting – hoping desperately to overcome love's obstacles. Some would say that
one scene alone made millions fall in love with
(and John Cusack).
The film, set in Seattle
during the summer after high school graduation, featured the typical 80s
teen angst, but was anything but the typical 80s movie. First, it was
directed by Cameron Crowe and not John Hughes (who directed many of the
hot teen flicks of the 80s). Crowe wrote 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont
High, but Say Anything was his directorial debut – and it was a
To sum up Say Anything in a
nutshell: cute, yet awkward guy meets "unattainable" girl, actually dates
girl, falls in love with girl and girl's father wreaks havoc upon the
relationship. Say Anything, however, was much more to us than just the
plot. The characters had depth and we found ourselves relating to them.
Girls everywhere fell in love with Lloyd (the "underachiever" who falls in
love with the unattainable "brain"), empathized with Diane (the "brain),
and wanted to choke Diane's father.
One of the best scenes of the movie
involves Lloyd at Diane’s house for dinner with her father and some of her
father’s friends. Lloyd has the habit of babbling somewhat incoherently
(although charmingly) when under pressure. In response to questions about
his plans for the future, he replies, “I don't want to sell anything, buy
anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything
bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process
anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or
processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.” Well put.
Notable cameo roles include Joan Cusack’s role as Lloyd’s sister (uncredited),
just one of several movies in which real life brother and sister John and
Joan Cusack appeared together, and Jeremy Piven (when he still had lots of
hair) as one of Lloyd’s friends.
Fortunately, it all worked out for Lloyd and Diane in the end. It worked
out for the film too. Almost twenty years later you can catch the movie on
TV every so often; it is also available on DVD. And, if you are a
Netflix devotee (as
we are at Like Totally 80s) you can watch it instantly on your PC (or TV
if you have the receiver) - you don’t even have to wait for the DVD to
come through the mail.
The lyrics of “In
Your Eyes” sum up the emotional tone of the story and the movie,
“Without my pride, I reach out from the inside.”