Say Anything...

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Say Anything...
File:Say Anything.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Cameron Crowe
Produced by Polly Platt
Written by Cameron Crowe
Music by Anne Dudley
Richard Gibbs
Cinematography László Kovács
Edited by Richard Marks
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • April 14, 1989 (1989-04-14)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million[1]
Box office $21.5 million[2]

Say Anything... is a 1989 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything... as the greatest modern movie romance, and it was ranked number 11 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 best high-school movies.[3]

The film follows the relationship between Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), an average student, and Diane Court (Ione Skye), the valedictorian, immediately after their graduation from high school.

Plot summary

Set in Seattle, Washington, the film features Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), an average student and aspiring kickboxer, who attempts a relationship with the sweet valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) immediately after their graduation from the same high school. Diane has just won a major fellowship to study in England, and will be going there at the end of the summer. Highly intelligent yet socially naive, Diane is intrigued by Lloyd's charming persona and confidence to take a chance on someone like her. She agrees to Lloyd's request for a date, and the two of them begin seeing each other regularly.

Lloyd seeks advice and counsel from his sister (Joan Cusack) and several close female friends who are genuinely looking out for Lloyd's best interests as he embarks on his first serious romantic relationship. Diane's father, Jim (John Mahoney), is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for alleged tax violations committed at the nursing home he owns; and, as her relationship with Lloyd deepens, Diane worries that she should be spending more time with her father, rather than with Lloyd. Also, Jim does not approve of his daughter dating what he perceives to be a slacker, and pressures her to break up with him. Lloyd ultimately wins Diane's heart before the summer's end, and supports her emotionally after her father's conviction and incarceration. The film ends with Lloyd escorting the aviophobic Diane on her flight to England.



Allmusic said the soundtrack, like the film, is "much smarter than the standard teen fare of the era."[4] The soundtrack consists of these songs:

Critical reception

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the best films of the year—a film that is really about something, that cares deeply about the issues it contains—and yet it also works wonderfully as a funny, warmhearted romantic comedy."[5] He later included it on his 2002 Great Movie list, writing, "Say Anything exists entirely in a real world, is not a fantasy or a pious parable, has characters who we sort of recognize, and is directed with care for the human feelings involved."[6] It received a "98% Fresh" rating (39 fresh/1 rotten) at Rotten Tomatoes.

The film also had detractors. Variety called it a "half-baked love story, full of good intentions but uneven in the telling."[7] Caryn James of The New York Times wrote:

"[... r]esembles a first-rate production of a children's story. Its sense of parents and the summer after high school is myopic, presented totally from the teen-agers' point of view. Yet its melodrama—Will Dad go to prison? Will Diane go to England?—distorts that perspective, so the film doesn't have much to offer an actual adult, not even a sense of what it's truly like to be just out of high school these days. The film is all charming performances and grace notes, but there are plenty of worse things to be.[8]

TV series

A television series based on the movie was planned by NBC and 20th Century Fox, but producers Aaron Kaplan and Justin Adler did not know that Crowe had not approved of the project. When they found out his views, the show was dropped.[9]


  1. Box Office Information for Say Anything..,; retrieved April 4, 2013.
  2. Box Office Information for Say Anything..,; retrieved April 4, 2013.
  3. "50 Best High School Movies". 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2012-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Say Anything...(soundtrack) at AllMusic
  5. "Say Anything",; April 14, 1989.
  6. Say Anything (1989),, February 17, 2002.
  7. "Say Anything..." Variety. December 31, 1988. Retrieved 2012-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. James, Caryn (April 14, 1989). "Mismatched Teen-Agers Fall in Love, Of Course". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Elavksy, Cindy (October 23, 2014). "Celebrity Extra". King Features. Retrieved October 23, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links