‘Say Anything’ fails to hold up over time

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Spencer Woodbury, Chronicle Staff Writer

From timeless classics such as “Casablanca” and “Citizen Kane” to modern blockbusters like “Parasite” and “La La Land”, there are a variety of movies that define pop culture and society. The true question is, how do these movies face the test of time? 

Many movies receive high praise initially, but over the years the humor becomes dated and the references become stale. Some movies receive high criticism for not following Hollywood’s traditional standards, but over time they receive the praise they truly deserve. One movie that received high praise when it initially released in theaters on April 14, 1989, was “Say Anything”.

Starring John Cusack, “Say Anything” follows Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) as he seeks to capture the heart of Diane (Ione Skye), an unattainable high-school beauty and straight-A student. It surprises just about everyone when she returns the sentiment. However, Diane’s overly possessive, divorced father doesn’t approve and it will take more than the power of love to conquer all.

For a movie with such great potential, it is disappointing how mediocre “Say Anything” is. The chemistry between Lloyd and Diane is like the food that is eaten when sick. There are moments that the food is enjoyable, and there are moments that the food is horrible. The stereotypical love story would cause Shakespeare to frown because of how overused the plot is. John Cusack and Ione Skye’s delivery of lines sounded similar to a robot being forced to attempt human emotion. The major plot twist of Diane’s father was soapy due to the rarity of the family issue.

“Say Anything” did have some decent moments. The iconic moment when Lloyd holds up the boombox is entertaining and heartwarming. Lloyd’s interaction with his nephew is funny because of how dysfunctional their family is. When Lloyd teaches Diane how to drive a stickshift it is one of the brief moments that they are bearable to watch together. 

“Say Anything” is an overrated and cliché 80s movie. This movie should only be watched when revisiting iconic 80s films. I would recommend watching “Pretty In Pink” instead of witnessing this atrocity.