[box cover]

Say Anything

He introduced "Show me the money!" into the American catchphrase vernacular, catapulted Kate Hudson into the 2000 Oscar race, and made a whole generation of teenage boys lust after Phoebe Cates. Nonetheless, Cameron Crowe has no greater achievement than Lloyd Dobler. The kickboxing Prince Charming who embraces optimism as a revolutionary act is the ultimate teen hero — he's the guy every girl wants to be with and the man every guy wants to be. Perfectly embodied by John Cusack, Lloyd says the things we all think about but can't quite express, and he doesn't let anything stop him from going after what he wants. Turns out that happens to be Diane Court (Ione Skye), the high school valedictorian and all-around golden girl; Lloyd asks her out, and they're both surprised when she says yes. Thanks to writer/director Crowe's excellent script, Diane and Lloyd's relationship is both realistic and utterly sigh-inducing. Their highs and lows are buoyant and heartbreaking by turns, especially when her overprotective — and, as it happens, corrupt — father (the excellent John Mahoney) gets involved. It's up to Lloyd (and Peter Gabriel and a boom box) to prove to Diane that even unexpected, unlikely love is worth holding on to. Say Anything is as funny as it is romantic; thanks to Cusack's wry wit, Crowe's terrific writing, and supporting characters like Lili Taylor's melodramatic, ex-boyfriend-obsessed Corey, there's never too long to wait between laughs. Crowe's more recent endeavors may have brought him front and center into the Hollywood limelight (and Almost Famous is top-notch filmmaking), but he's never made a better movie than Say Anything. Luckily, Fox seems to agree, as their DVD is stuffed with extras. First and foremost is an interesting, enthusiastic commentary by Crowe, Cusack, and Skye (starting a full 21 minutes before the movie does), who all seem just as fond of each other now as they were when they made the film. Then there are the five alternate scenes (see the boom box scene with different music — and be glad they changed it), ten deleted scenes, and 13 extended scenes: When you see what Crowe wisely decided to leave out, you'll think even more highly of him. The features list is rounded out with a 1989 featurette, two trailers, eight TV spots, and a set of stills taken by Crowe on-set. The anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) is strong, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is worthy of a movie so tied into its soundtrack. English 2.0, French 2.0, English and Spanish subtitles. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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