Genre Grandeur – Say Anything (1989) – Riley on Film

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – 80’s Teen Movies here’s a review of Say Anything (1989) by Damien of Riley on Film.

Thanks again to Todd of The Forgotten Filmz Podcast for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Keith of Keith & the Movies and we will be reviewing our favorite French New Wave Films

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Oct by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Keith!

Let’s see what Damien thought of this movie:


“Say Anything”

as 80’s Teen Comedy Art


Art is described by Google as: “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form.” In my opinion, “Say Anything” is high art! At the get go here I want to thank Todd for choosing a truly fun topic and of course MovieRob for inviting me to be part of this compilation as a guest blogger. I see the 80’s teen comedies as pure enjoyment and I have learned a thing or two about love and life from them as well, I don’t think I am alone in that either! So, why is this film high art? I’ll explain. High Art is the stuff that makes directors quit and actors jealous. It holds a place above other films of its time and has had enormous influence on decades that follow.



Films like “Weird Science” have notable party scenes but I can say there are few as subtly effective and entertaining as the one in “Say Anything.” John Cusack (Lloyd) gets a date with Diane Court (Ione Skye) and he’s thrilled because let’s face it, he’s a class A dork. Cusack was one of the brat pack throughout the 80’s but this film is a special role for him, a milestone I think. His character is driven but not reckless, in love without knowing it, and willing to help his friends which I think is an excellent theme of any 80’s movie. At any rate, when I analyze the similar films of this time, this one stands high above the rest. It is effective as a teen party movie but not without a serious and touching look at love along the way. Who can forget the scene when Lloyd after losing his virginity to Diane and getting dumped plays the boom box song “Your Eyes” at her bedroom window. That’s iconic and I always get nostalgic when I watch it.


I think “Can’t Buy me Love” has exerted untold influence on films that followed it. It released in 1989 so most of that influence you may find in the early 90’s. “She’s all That,” and “Loser” are two examples and there are more that can be argued.


My favorite part about this film is that I feel myself “growing up” in those 18-22 years when I watch the ending. Diane and Lloyd have to deal with a very difficult situation in which her father is incarcerated. Lloyd in essence takes on the caretaker role which is funny because he can barely take care of himself. Nonetheless they end up on that metaphorical plane headed for her college beginning and his questionable one. Cameron Crowe directed this high art and I am so thankful he did. This is one of those films I will be watching repeatedly the rest of my life. It represents so much that was good in the 80’s and that has always been good in young love. In a time of wandering around in the dark, this film is a beacon of light guiding the way. Not everyone will meet their life partner in this age bracket but all who date will relate with the magical time in this insightful, hilarious love story.


Above is a link to podcast style Youtube video of this review I did for this compilation of reviews, visit for more of my movie podcasts.

Damien Riley





One thought on “Genre Grandeur – Say Anything (1989) – Riley on Film

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur September Finale – Three O’Clock High (1987) – Forgotten Filmz | MovieRob

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