I loathe TV (or at least what it has become today) but I really dig good movies. My recent movie watching habit of late (really since the summer) has blossomed from all of the killer deals you get at movie rental places on VHS tapes (as they start to transition to DVD… this btw reminds me of the bargains you could get on audio cassettes when the CD first began to really get popular as a format) and on DVD’s (lots of older “B” movies are now being put out on DVD for $5.99).

Anyway I have lots of movies (I’m going to get guess close to 100). Lots of them are ok to watch once or twice, some are good to watch pretty often but a very rare few are worth of obsession. These movies are watch over and over (probably at least once every week or so). Most of these movies I’ve talked about on this blog before (Dazed and Confused, Still Breathing, Empire Records) but one I don’t think I’ve talked about… Say Anything.

I love this movie. Partly it because it is such an honest and good movie made with the care that only a first-time film maker could make (this was Cameron Crowe’s first), partly because the casting is so perfect, partly because the sound tracks is stellar, but mostly because the story seemed so real. It is without a doubt the finest teen movie ever made, 100,000 times better than all of insipid crud made by Hollywood before and after on what it is like to be in love (really in love) for the first time.

This movie is also about true honesty and true optimism (not phony pollyana head in the sand optimism, but rather defiant choosing to believe that there can be good despite huge evidence to the contrary).

I also dig the movie because Ione Skye is so beautiful. Not sure why but she just is. I can so see why Lloyd Dobler fell for Diane (who Ione played).

Here’s a few reviews of the movie by other folks…

  • Rotten Tomatoes list of reviews of Say Anything
  • Fast-Rewind has tons of cool trivia about the movie (much of it is from the DVD extras and commentary)
  • Roger Ebert on Say Anything — a great review. Here’s one part I really liked…
      . . . Most people go to love stories in order to identify, in one way or another, with the lovers. Usually they are unworthy of our trust, especially in the modern breed of teenage movies that celebrate cynicism, vulgarity and ignorance. ”Say Anything” is kind of ennobling. I would like to show it to the makers of a film like ”Slackers” and ask them if they do not feel shamed. ”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. When Entertainment Weekly recently chose it as the best modern movie romance, I was not surprised. . .”Say Anything” depends above all on the human qualities of its actors. Cusack and Skye must have been cast for their clear-eyed frankness, for their ability to embody the burning intensity of young idealism. A movie like this is possible because its maker believes in the young characters, and in doing the right thing, and in staying true to oneself. The sad teenage comedies of recent years are apparently made by filmmakers who have little respect for themselves or their characters, and sneer because they dare not dream.

    If you haven’t seen this movie, you must do so, and if you have seen it before but not lately go out and buy it tomorrow on DVD. I don’t think it was very expensive so the DVD is most definitely worth it. There are tons of good extras on this disk… commentary by Cameron Crowe, John Cusack and Ione Skye; bunches of deleted and alternate scenes, ads, trailers, and more.