Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

I Gave Her My Heart and She Gave Me a Pen.

Howdy boys and girls,
I’m back from a week of non-stop work followed by a week of
vacation…..what? That’s right, I said it…Vacation. I was on
vacation. It was the first time since college (actually since I went
to India 2 years ago) that I’ve had more than a three day weekend
where I wasn’t working or going to school. I went to the PNW (Pacific
Northwest) to see off one of my best friends as she goes to grad
school. It was a little bittersweet, but fun. And I have a tattoo on
my ass to commemorate it.

This however, isn’t the point. Two weeks back I promised a list and I
only did number five. So here we go again kids. Number four in
Julia’s top 5.5 movies of all time is………………………..SAY
ANYTHING. Ah, John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Joan Cusack, Lily
Taylor and (of course) Cameron Crowe, my hero.

So like six months ago I wrote an email about Cameron Crowe and how he
is my god. I’ll try not to repeat myself too much when talking about
Say Anything, but one thing I will reiterate is that this movie, Say
Anything, is the main reason I decided to try and write movies. This
movie evoked so much in me and touched me so profoundly that I thought
to myself, if I can move some lost kid somewhere half as much as this
movie has moved me, then I’ll truly be a success. And my philosophy
on movie making is that if you touch even one person, you’ve succeeded
somehow. So Cameron Crowe is a success in my book.

Anyway, I think what I love about Say Anything is that it’s a truly
romantic movie. And no, this isn’t the other romantic comedy on the
list. I mean, Say Anything is romantic, and parts are funny, but it’s
not really a movie I would put in the genre of Romantic Comedy. The
romance of the movie really comes from one place, Lloyd Dobbler. This
is John Cusack’s best role, the role of Lloyd Dobbler. He is
basically every woman’s dream in this movie. I mean, he’s sensitive
(he points out some glass to Ione Skye so she doesn’t step on it as
they’re walking down the street), he’s sweet, he’s committed, he’s
understanding. He’s everything most women want.

But it’s not just Lloyd’s relationship with Diane Court (Ione Skye)
that makes the movie. He and his sister, played by his real life
sister Joan, share a great and realistic potrayal of a sibling
relationship. They fight, they joke, they’re there for each other
when shit goes wrong. They’re real siblings. Sure you could argue
that it’s not really acting, but any actor will tell you that the key
is chemistry. Basically, if you don’t have chemistry on screen, the
acting will suffer. However, chemistry is a tricky thing. Richard
Gere and Debra Winger absolutely hated each other in officer and a
gentleman. Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd could not stand each
other (the reason moonlighting ended). Then again, Ben Affleck and
J.Lo. had no chemistry in Gigli, even though they were dating. So the
fact that John and Joan can play such real siblings talks more to
their acting ability than their status as siblings. And this
relationship is the anchor of the movie. It’s the one relationship
that is unmovable throughout the film.

I first saw Say Anything around the time I was graduating from high
school. And if you all remember back to that time, that’s usually the
time when you finally start realizing that your parents aren’t
perfect. Throughout most of your childhood you look at your parents
as perfect, but there’s a certain point when you realize they’re just
as messed up (actually usually more so) as you are. And I think that
even over the great romance between Lloyd and Diane (which I’m getting
to), this is my favorite part of the film. Diane’s realization that
her father is far from perfect, in fact, he’s a criminal, is just
amazing. The way the two actors play it, where John Mahoney is lying
to his daughter, where Ione Sky finally wises up and her whole world
starts crashing down. I mean it’s this act, this relationship that
leads to Lloyd and Diane making it work for real.

So at the beginning of this little email I said that I don’t think Say
Anything is a romantic comedy and I stand by this. But that is not to
say it’s not a romantic movie. In fact, it does have most of the
elements of a romantic comedy, I guess you could also call it a high
school movie seeing as the characters are both graduating from high
school, but the film really transcends all of these labels. I mean,
Lloyd is not your typical high school boy. He doesn’t want to pursue
a career where he buys, sells or processes anything. He doesn’t want
to buy anything sold or processed, sell anything bought or processed,
or process anything sold, bought or processed. And to top it all off,
he’s a kickboxer…sport of the future.

Diane, on the other hand, is valedictorian. She’s never done anything
wrong in her life. She’s never done anything, except study. Show of
hands, who can relate? I can I can. I wasn’t the valedictorian or
anything, but I can definitely relate.

Usually, in high school movies, the valedictorian is a total dork who
has no social skills whatsoever. Lloyd Dobbler is the freak who won’t
give up on the girl he likes. These two are not the typical romantic
leads of a high school movie, nor are they the romantic leads of a
romantic comedy. That’s what makes Say Anything such a unique film.
Cameron Crowe takes all these tropes from a variety of different film
genres and makes them something so unique, so original that it’s hard
to not love it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Cameron Crowe is a genius.
I mean, not only did he create these wonderful characters, but there
are some great lines in the movie. My favorite is the title of this
email. When Lloyd and Diane break up at one point, Lloyd is standing
in a phone booth (remember those?) in the rain, talking to his sister
and he says, ‘I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.’ This is
where Cameron Crowe’s genius comes in he just sums everything up in
one line, and it’s not even that profound of a line. I think that’s
the best kind of line, the one that’s not contrived, that seems like
any normal person would say it, but that sums everything up in it’s
utterance. That’s why Cameron’s the master; and that’s why Say
Anything is the fourth best movie ever.

Peace, Love, and Lloyd Dobbler,
Julia

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September 19, 2007 - Posted by | Cameron Crowe, High School, Movie Reviews, Movies

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