Monday, July 20, 2009

Say Anything...

Say Anything...; Romantic comedy, USA, 1989; D: Cameron Crowe, S: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Joan Cusack, Lili Taylor

Seattle. 19-year old Lloyd Dobler falls in love with Diane after she hold a speech when graduating from high school. He phones her and asks her out for prom night. The two of them start a relationship. However, her suspicious father isn't too fond of Lloyd because he doesn't have any ambitions but to be a kick-boxer, and thus persuades Diane to break up with him. Due to tax violations, her father lands in prison while she flies off together with Lloyd to England to study there.

Its always interesting how all the hype and critical praise can erode so fast when one does a reality check of an esteemed film. "Say Anything..." is by far not a bad film, but from the author Cameron Crowe, a masterful observer of human relationships and emotions, one should have expected a lot more, even despite the fact that this was his directorial debut film. The story once again shows Crowe's wonderful approach towards the youth's spirit, portraying the young generation not as idiots, but as human beings, John Cusack and Ione Skye are in amusing shape, yet the shaky mood is so shaky that the viewers experience the first "click" only after some 40 minutes of running time have already passed. The scene where Lloyd is holding a radio above his head to play music to his love is a classic, and here and there equally charming scenes pop up, like when, after the break up, he is driving lonely in his car and cynically making comments to his tape recorder ("This is the mall where I first met her...") or when Diane delivers her speech after high school graduation ("When I look into the future, I say: Let's go back."), yet there is simply too much empty walk and babble in search for some meaningful line, the calculation to draw sympathies from the little kid is annoying whereas there lacks that true inspiration that makes art really great. Somehow, that essence evades Crowe in "Say Anything...", but Crowe himself in "Singles" and "Jerry Maguire" gets it.


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