If you’re a parent reading this and you have a son, you’ll watch Say Anything and hope he turns out like Lloyd Dobler (Cusack), and if you have a daughter, you’ll watch and pray she gets to meet a Lloyd one day herself.
For Lloyd – ambitionless though he may be – is the perfect man: sincere, determined, protective, funny, and it’s pretty likely he loves fuzzy animals and small children too.
Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, who went on to make Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky, Say Anything is a wonderful, sweet teen movie that adults will also love – especially those who remember what being a teen was like in the late eighties.
It’s the story of how an underachiever named Lloyd gets up the nerve to ask out the school brain (Skye) – and how she gives him the time of day just because she has nothing to do before going off to college, never expecting this slightly awkward guy to steal her heart.
There’s other stuff going on too – her dad (played by Frasier’s John Mahoney) has a secret that could change her life, while Lloyd has a sister (played by Cusack’s real-life sibling, Joan), depressed young friend (Lili Taylor) and nephew to deal with.
But in the end the movie belongs to the two leads, and softies should be warned to have tissues at the ready for the pitch-perfect weepy ending.
Is Say Anything suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...