Starring: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney
Director: Cameron Crowe
Running Time: 100 mins
Say Anything is an American film about a nervous college graduate and a brainy girl with big ambitions who fall in love over the course of a summer. However, the girl’s personal ambitions and family problems cause complications in the relationship.
This is a romantic comedy that strays from the generic path. On the one hand, it’s great to see something a little different, with more genuine emotion and drama than you normally expect from the genre. However, it’s also a format that doesn’t quite work in this film, because despite a fascinating start and finish, it suffers form a lacklustre central portion.
But before we get into that, let’s have a look at the performances. John Cusack and Ione Skye star in the central roles, and are hugely likeable and enjoyable to watch right the way through, with their characters being fortunately more down-to-earth and realistic than most rom-com princes and princesses.
However, the performance that stands out in this film isn’t from either of the young guns, it’s from John Mahoney, who plays the father of the girl. His character is fascinating throughout, but Mahoney’s performance is brilliantly unpredictable, showcasing a great performance that really shines in a romantic film, and one that would be worthy of any great drama.
Now, the story. The plus side about this plot was that the main story lines were very interesting. At the beginning, you had the difficult start to the relationship between the two young lovers, and the end focusses on something all the more unexpected but hugely intriguing.
And if this film had managed to sustain that level of intrigue right the way through, it would surely have been one of the best romantic dramas of all time. However, it doesn’t do that. Despite a strong start, the central relationship becomes flat and repetitive for about fifty minutes, whilst the secondary story only picks up a little before the fascinating climax, but not enough for you to really care about it.
As a result, for a good hour or so, this film is really stuck in perpetual inertia, and there’s pretty much nothing for you to get interested in, so that’s why this gets a 7.0 from me.