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The UnPopular Opinion: Say Anything

02.12.2015

THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!

****SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

With Valentine's Day approaching this weekend, chances are you are going to end up watching at least one romantic movie. Whether you are just generally someone who likes movies with a love story or your significant other wants to get into the romantic mood, there are a ton of choices out there for movies with great love stories. If you asked a bunch of people for their favorite romantic movie, the odds are that at least a handful would name Cameron Crowe's 1989 hit SAY ANYTHING.

In the last two and a half decades, SAY ANYTHING has remained a consistent favorite of Generation Xers and teenagers who have discovered the films of John Hughes and are looking for similar movies. But, unlike John Hughes slice of life comedies about high school, SAY ANYTHING is a dark and dreary drama with some humorous moments about that twilight phase between graduation and college. Sure, we all instantly recognize the image of John Cusack holding a boombox over his head but beyond that, SAY ANYTHING is forgettable, drab, and just not as good as everyone proclaims it to be.

Now that, my dear, is how you perform an Upper Decker.

First and foremost, SAY ANYTHING is boring. I don't mean that it was edited poorly or the plot is not intriguing. This movie is boring in every sense of the word. It is visually static and full of one-dimensional characters striving to be intriguing. The most entertaining aspect of the film is everyone we see for only a few scenes like Lily Taylor, Eric Stoltz and Joan Cusack. These are the stories that seem more engaging than anything between John Cusack's Lloyd Dobler and Ione Skye's Diane Court. These two main characters have almost no chemistry and on their own are nowhere near the level of interesting that would make them potential love interests even in real life.

Let's take John Cusack as Lloyd. Cameron Crowe's idea of making this mediocre student and wannabe professional kickboxer capable of wooing the incredibly intelligent and popular Diane Court is the stuff of romantic comedy gold. But, Cusack instead portrays Lloyd as something of a stalker and obsessive when it comes to Diane. Rather than make him the kind of character you relate to, you are left wondering why in the hell he is still interested in her once he gets to know her and realizes they have nothing in common. The film forces you along to think there is progress in the relationship between these two, but it must all be occurring off screen because what we see in this film is two people who are not right for each other.

I gave her my heart and she gave me a restraining order.

Ione Skye is perfectly cast, from a visual standpoint, as the girl every guy in high school wanted to be in a relationship with. She is smart, beautiful, and...pretty? I still cannot find any redeeming characteristics about Diane Court that make her worth all of the effort Lloyd puts in to persuade her for a date. In fact, it almost seems like Diane is slumming it to see how stupid people initiate mating rituals rather than a legitimate interest in who Lloyd is. Diane's relationship with her widowed father also takes up an unnecessary amount of the film's plot.

John Mahoney is great as Diane's father Jim but his subplot about embezzling money from the retirement home he runs is a secondary or tertiary plot at best. Cameron Crowe spends almost as much time focused on the IRS investigation into Jim as he does with Diane and Lloyd. Yeah, I get the fact that Jim doesn't like his daughter dating someone like him, an underachiever with delusions of grandeur, but this is a thin rationale for how the story develops. Through the end of the film, we are left with Diane's shitty dad as the sole motivation for she and Lloyd to stay together. Basically, SAY ANYTHING is telling us that all you need to escape a deadbeat piece of shit guy is to find a slightly less shitty deadbeat to take his place.

The FRASIER prequel we always wanted.

There has been growth over Cameron Crowe's career as a filmmaker, but SAY ANYTHING feels like exactly what it is: the debut film from a rookie director.  The soundtrack, always Crowe's strongest aspect of his films, is great here and one of the lone highlights of an otherwise uneven film.  The only story worth the time here is the relationship between Diane and her father.  The Lloyd/Diane romance feels poorly conceived and marginally executed.  I can see why people relate to the movie but I cannot fathom how anyone could relate to the characters.  If you were to mute the film and blast the soundtrack, SAY ANYTHING works a lot better than if you listen to the movie itself.  While everyone was up in arms about a rumored television series adaptation of the movie, I almost feel like it could have been a better take on the material than this overhyped movie.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for The UnPopular Opinion I’m always happy to hear them. You can send along an email to alexmaidy@joblo.com, spell it out below, slap it up on my wall in Movie Fan Central, or send me a private message via Movie Fan Central. Provide me with as many movie suggestions as you like, with any reasoning you'd care to share, and if I agree then you may one day see it featured in this very column!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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6:21PM on 02/12/2015

are you kidding me?

I don't know anybody who has ever said a bad thing about Say Anything & it's far from boring. Sure it owes alot to the John Hughes movie, but it's just as good as his films were.
I don't know anybody who has ever said a bad thing about Say Anything & it's far from boring. Sure it owes alot to the John Hughes movie, but it's just as good as his films were.
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5:17PM on 02/12/2015

We make profit on the Internet since 1998!

Google is paying 98$ per hour! Just work For Few hours & Spend more time with friends and family. On Sunday i Bought Themselvers a Alfa Romeo from having made $18543 this month.
Useful Site === >> == >> == >> WWW.WORK4HOUR.COM
Google is paying 98$ per hour! Just work For Few hours & Spend more time with friends and family. On Sunday i Bought Themselvers a Alfa Romeo from having made $18543 this month.
Useful Site === >> == >> == >> WWW.WORK4HOUR.COM
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5:16PM on 02/12/2015
It has gotten so that these 'unpopular' articles make my skin crawl
It has gotten so that these 'unpopular' articles make my skin crawl
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3:35PM on 02/12/2015

The click bait is strong with this one

I can appreciate being a Devil's Advocate as much as anyone, but this article doesn't make a good argument for disliking SAY ANYTHING. Commenting that characters and plot elements are "boring" and "unnecessary" do not a critique make, unless you can back up your assertions. I would argue the father-daughter-IRS subplot is crucial to the movie since it shows Diane slowly learning that her beloved father is anything but perfect. In that sense, SAY ANYTHING went where few teen rom-coms dared
I can appreciate being a Devil's Advocate as much as anyone, but this article doesn't make a good argument for disliking SAY ANYTHING. Commenting that characters and plot elements are "boring" and "unnecessary" do not a critique make, unless you can back up your assertions. I would argue the father-daughter-IRS subplot is crucial to the movie since it shows Diane slowly learning that her beloved father is anything but perfect. In that sense, SAY ANYTHING went where few teen rom-coms dared go.

FYI, the movie has a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and here's what your own boss JoBlo had to say about it: "Great dialogue, dead-on performances from all three leads, Cusack, Skye and Mahoney, a nice romance, cool soundtrack and some funny lines."
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4:54PM on 02/12/2015
Provide back up for why they AREN'T boring or interesting.
Provide back up for why they AREN'T boring or interesting.
6:52PM on 02/12/2015
I already did. Read my last paragraph.
I already did. Read my last paragraph.
-1
3:10PM on 02/12/2015
I totally agree! I just don't understand the love of this movie. It's extemely boring. The father sub-plot is completely unneccesary, and the Diane character is so drab, I have a very difficult time understanding what is so damn special about her.
I totally agree! I just don't understand the love of this movie. It's extemely boring. The father sub-plot is completely unneccesary, and the Diane character is so drab, I have a very difficult time understanding what is so damn special about her.
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-1
3:04PM on 02/12/2015

For once..

We agree lol
We agree lol
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-1
12:51PM on 02/12/2015

6/10.

[Spoilers ahead]

DIANE tells her dad she had sex with LLOYD, and he didnít even ask her. That was the comfirmation of something I had already suspected by that point: That this wasnít going to be melodramatic; that it was going to be honest. In that sense, Cameron Crowe did a good job. I mean, the movie has a lot of scenes that, even if theyíre not as hilarious as other 1980s teen movies, they can charm you. But thatís also the biggest flaw. One thing is to keep a movie realistic and another
[Spoilers ahead]

DIANE tells her dad she had sex with LLOYD, and he didnít even ask her. That was the comfirmation of something I had already suspected by that point: That this wasnít going to be melodramatic; that it was going to be honest. In that sense, Cameron Crowe did a good job. I mean, the movie has a lot of scenes that, even if theyíre not as hilarious as other 1980s teen movies, they can charm you. But thatís also the biggest flaw. One thing is to keep a movie realistic and another thing is to make a love story feel like a slice of life movie. Seriously, at times, it felt like Crowe just wasnít being ambitious enough. I also had a problem with the ending. Not that it was ambigious, that was good. And itís not that I didnít get it; I did: Itís because, in real life, nobody knows what will happen next. The problem was in the way they did it: By showing LLOYD & DIANE worried about the plane falling down. This movie wasnít a thriller. Couldnít Crowe think of another way to do that? One that wouldnít feel like a cliffhanger? How about the 2 of them stepping out of the plane and of them saying ďAnd now what?Ē and then fading it to black?
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12:31PM on 02/12/2015
Say anything is not "boring" or "forgettable". In fact your the first person I've ever heard that called it forgettable. John cusack and ione Skye have great chemistry in the movie and are fun to watch as they get to know eachother. That being said I don't think its a great movie, but a pretty good one. Oh and I can agree with you on the father subplot, pretty out of left field for a romantic dramedy.
Say anything is not "boring" or "forgettable". In fact your the first person I've ever heard that called it forgettable. John cusack and ione Skye have great chemistry in the movie and are fun to watch as they get to know eachother. That being said I don't think its a great movie, but a pretty good one. Oh and I can agree with you on the father subplot, pretty out of left field for a romantic dramedy.
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11:41AM on 02/12/2015
Didnt like this movie and I'll go as far as to say I don't like Cameron Crowe in general. Still do need to see Vanilla Sky however.
Didnt like this movie and I'll go as far as to say I don't like Cameron Crowe in general. Still do need to see Vanilla Sky however.
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12:53PM on 02/12/2015
I'd recommend you see OPEN YOUR EYES (the original version) first. It's excellent! VANILLA SKY is average (in comparison and in general).
I'd recommend you see OPEN YOUR EYES (the original version) first. It's excellent! VANILLA SKY is average (in comparison and in general).
11:21AM on 02/12/2015

Another clickbait article.

These articles just feel like clickbait. They don't present their arguments particularly well and as a result are kind of a slog to read.
These articles just feel like clickbait. They don't present their arguments particularly well and as a result are kind of a slog to read.
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11:16AM on 02/12/2015

Lol

Ok, dude. It's one thing to try to 'promote...geek fueled discussion' and it's another to just troll people into commenting, which is what this column has become. But, I respect your 'opinion' nonetheless. And I love this movie, always will.
Ok, dude. It's one thing to try to 'promote...geek fueled discussion' and it's another to just troll people into commenting, which is what this column has become. But, I respect your 'opinion' nonetheless. And I love this movie, always will.
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6:24PM on 02/12/2015
Literally feels like a group of movies on a dartboard & this was one that got picked, no real valid argument.
Literally feels like a group of movies on a dartboard & this was one that got picked, no real valid argument.
10:49AM on 02/12/2015
I know I have seen the movie, but honestly I can't remember anything about it except for the boom box and "In your eyes" by Peter Gabriel.
I know I have seen the movie, but honestly I can't remember anything about it except for the boom box and "In your eyes" by Peter Gabriel.
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10:48AM on 02/12/2015
I can't. I just can't.

I can respect your opinion (like anyone else on this website), but I will never agree that's it anything but terrific and iconic. A sure classic.
I can't. I just can't.

I can respect your opinion (like anyone else on this website), but I will never agree that's it anything but terrific and iconic. A sure classic.
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11:53AM on 02/12/2015
For you to like something, it's really saying saying something
For you to like something, it's really saying saying something
11:58AM on 02/12/2015
I know, right??
I know, right??
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