a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Say Anything… (1989), starring John Cusack, Ione Skye and John Mahoney.
©20th Century Fox
Per IMDb: “A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.”
Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) starts obsessing over Diane Court (Skye) at their high school graduation. She’s the valedictorian, and most assume she’s “out of his league.” She has won a fellowship to attend school in England and her father, Jim (Mahoney), couldn’t be happier. Jim is the owner of a retirement home and is his daughter’s best friend, after the divorce from her mother. They have a good bit of money and that adds to the ways that Diane and Lloyd are different, although neither of them cares.
Jim is worried that Lloyd may be a detriment to Diane’s upcoming matriculation in England; afraid that she’ll want to stay home instead of going. The more the two teens get involved, the more Jim becomes less tolerant of Diane’s “freedoms.” It doesn’t help that the IRS is investigating Jim on fraud charges through the retirement home. Do the crazy kids stay together? Do they break up? What happens with the IRS? You’ll have to watch to find out.
As usual, Joan Cusack plays in the film with her brother, John. She doesn’t give any Oscar-winning performances but that wasn’t what she set out to do, in this film. It was so strange seeing John Mahoney with dark hair and playing a role outside of Martin Crane, Frasier’s father in the television series. There are times when you don’t like him and I’m not used to that with him, either. There are times when you certainly do like him, though.
The BCPF thinks Ione Skye got the part because she’s pretty while I think she is an awful actress and looks like a horse. As the film went on it was like she learned to act. The acting was less atrocious from her the deeper the film went. Beyond that, I think that she and Cusack (who can act) actually had good screen chemistry.
Another Frasier cast member, Bebe Neuwirth (she played Frasier’s ex-wife, Lillith), made an appearance here, as well. Other cameos include Jeremy Piven, Chynna Phillips, Eric Stoltz and Lili Taylor.
Probably the most notable thing about this film is its soundtrack. One of the most famous scenes of teen-driven dramedies happens in this film: the iconic holding of the boombox playing “In Your Eyes” from Peter Gabriel (off my favorite album of all-time). Cusack reenacted that onstage at a Peter Gabriel show a few years ago. In addition to PG, the soundtrack included Nancy Wilson of Heart (her husband, Cameron Crowe wrote the film), Depeche Mode, The Replacements, Cheap Trick, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour and Joe Satriani. It’s a great soundtrack and the songs fit well in the film.
Overall, I think it was a decent film. Not my favorite of teen films but it was pretty good. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 98% Fresh with an Audience Score of 85%. IMDb has it at 7.4 stars out of 10. We rented it from Amazon Prime and I will rate it 4 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What would you like to hear/read me review?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“One question: are you here ’cause you need someone, or ’cause you need me?… Forget it, I don’t care.” – Lloyd Dobler