Say Anything...

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


Aspiring kickboxer Lloyd Dobler falls for valedictorian Diane Court at their high school graduation ceremony. Lloyd lives with his sister Constance, a single mother, and has no plans for his future. Diane has had a sheltered academic upbringing and lives with her doting divorced father, who owns the retirement home where she works. She is due to attend a fellowship in England at the end of the summer.

Diane accompanies Lloyd to a party, surprising their classmates. During a dinner at the Court household, where Lloyd fails to impress Diane's family, Diane's father is informed that he is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Diane takes Lloyd to meet the residents of the retirement home and he teaches her to drive. Their relationship grows intimate and they sleep together, to her father's concern. Lloyd's musician friend Corey, who has never gotten over her cheating ex-boyfriend, warns him to take care of Diane.

Diane's father urges her to break up with Lloyd, feeling he is not an appropriate match for her, and suggests she give him a pen as a parting gift. Diane tells Lloyd she wants to stop seeing him and concentrate on her studies. Devastated over the breakup, Lloyd seeks advice from Corey, who tells him to "be a man". Diane's father's credit cards are declined when he tries to buy her a luggage set.

At dawn, Lloyd plays "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, the song that was playing the first time they slept together, on a boombox under her open bedroom window. The next day, Diane meets with the IRS investigator, who explains that her father has been embezzling funds from his retirement home residents. He advises her to accept the fellowship as matters with her father will worsen. After she discovers cash concealed at home, her father tells her he stole the money to give her financial independence. Distraught, Diane reconciles with Lloyd at the gym where he trains.

Some time later, Diane's father has been incarcerated. Lloyd visits him in a federal penitentiary and tells him he will go with Diane to England; he reacts with anger. Lloyd gives him a letter from Diane saying she cannot forgive him, but she arrives to say goodbye and they embrace. She gives him a pen, asking him to write to her in England. Lloyd escorts Diane, who is afraid of flying, on her flight.



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[edit]

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert called Say Anything... "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 (41 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 that it:

"[... 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[edit]

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. 
  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. 
  8. ^ James, Caryn (April 14, 1989). "Mismatched Teen-Agers Fall in Love, Of Course". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  9. ^ Elavksy, Cindy (October 23, 2014). "Celebrity Extra". King Features. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]