You know the scene. Hell, if you grew up in a certain era, it’s practically tattooed on your eyelids. Lloyd Dobler (deftly played by John Cusack) stands in the driveway of the home of his beloved, Diane Court (Ione Skye). It’s early morning. He has his boom box, and his Peter Gabriel cassette. He raises the boom box above his head …
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut, Say Anything…, Fox has released the film on Blu-ray. In addition to the film itself, the disc includes some worthwhile new bonus features including a revealing documentary that looks back at the film 20 years later, a conversation with Cameron Crowe, and even a trivia track that includes over 200 questions about the film. There’s also a cast commentary which was originally recorded for the DVD version, and alternate, deleted, and extended scenes.
Lloyd and Diane are classic high school outsiders. She’s brilliant, and beautiful, with a bright future in front of her that includes a fellowship that will take her to England to study. At the same time she’s lonely, and insecure. Her parents divorced five years earlier, and when given the choice, Diane opted to live with her father, brilliantly played by John Mahoney. Lloyd, who lives with his sister (played by his real life sister Joan Cusack), has no really discernible future, unless kickboxing, “the sport of the future,” catches on (which of course it did). But he’s an eternal optimist, and you have the sense that he’ll land on his feet no matter what happens.
Say Anything… is a touching look at first love, complicated by Diane’s pending departure, and her father’s pending incarceration. He’s been bilking patients at the nursing home that he runs and the IRS is on to him. Diane, afraid of the depth of her feelings for Lloyd, dumps him. The boom box scene ensues. Her father goes to jail, but the lovers reunite in time to begin the journey to England together.
It’s the little touches that make Say Anything… an iconic film. If you’re only familiar with John Mahoney through his years as Frasier’s dad on television, his performance will be a revelation. And not only is Frasier’s dad in the film, his ex-wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) has small part as a high school counselor. Eric Stoltz, who was a PA on the film, also gets a chance to play the guy who hosts the graduation party, in a rooster costume. A young Jeremy Piven is a member of Lloyd’s posse, and Barbara Streisand’s son Jason Gould appears as a very strange haircut. And I haven’t even mentioned Lili Taylor, who nearly steals the film as Lloyd’s friend Corey, who is in love with a vain prick named Joe, and has written 63 or 65 angry songs about him.
Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything… as the greatest modern movie romance in 2002, and it was number 11 on their list of the greatest high school movies. The Blu-ray looks terrific, owing in no small part to the original efforts of the great cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs. It’s great to hear “In Your Eyes” in 5.1 surround sound stereo. If you’re building your Blu-ray collection, Say Anything… deserves a place in it.
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